The Daily Crowdsource reports that a group of MIT faculty members, using grant money from the National Science Foundation, have launched the Educational Collaboration Space website. It continues, “the hope is that the website can leverage the benefits of crowdsourcing and open innovation to help educators better teach communication skills to maths students. The site provides a common space for teachers to share ideas, lesson plans, and experiences dealing with a relatively recent shift in focus at MIT.”
Mia Minnes, Visiting Assistant Professor to the University of California at San Diego said:
I believe [the website] will be an enormously helpful resource. Teaching these skills is challenging in any context, and even more so for instructors whose background and training is in mathematics rather than communication.
When exploring the ECS website itself, we come across the following:
An earlier version, maths CI Space, was conceived of and built in the Department of Mathematics at MIT as a way to encourage discussion among lecturers giving diverse courses with similar structure and challenges, specifically in the area of teaching communication skills, and to archive course material and successful practices emerging from those discussions. It has been in use in Mathematics since 2009.
The ECS distills this work and offers a general purpose platform for pedagogical collaboration. Take a look at the demo site. This is a WordPress site with specially written plugins, a custom built theme, and a template for the content. The plugins, theme, and template along with user-friendly instructions for creating a collaborative website anywhere are now available at the ECS Installation Instructions site.
Here you can find a demo website.
As with other industries, education can benefit from collaboration and open innovation to create richer, better and more enhanced experiences/value for the involved stakeholders.
Have you read about similar initiatives around the globe?