March 23, 2012 AT 8:30 am

ASK AN EDUCATOR! “Is there any sort of Wikipedia for STEM curriculum?”

Dustyn asks:

Is there any sort of Wikipedia for STEM curriculum? I’ve seen teachengineering.org, which is great, but not a wiki. And from what we learned about Wikipedia, lowering the barriers to entry/collaboration and removing mandatory review of material as a bottleneck is the only reason Wikipedia does as well as it does. Then there are some good private wiki sites, like http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Labs/Electronics. Is there an existing platform where we can make this type of hands on lab/lesson material accessible and editable by anyone who wants to contribute?

I completely agree with the mantra of open-source and making specific works publicly available for the common good. This is VERY applicable to the education system and the open sharing of teacher resources should be applauded. In my time as a teacher I have rarely seen someone who is reluctant to share their curriculum or at least help in assisting the teacher with developing new.

After a bit of poking around and found:

Curriki
Curriki originated from the idea that technology can play a crucial role in breaking down the barriers of the Education Divide – the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Curriki helps bridge this divide by providing free and open resources to teachers who need them most.

VEX
With more and more schools adopting VEX Robotics as a platform to enrich and enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, there is a need for an integrated program which allows teachers to seamlessly add VEX into their classrooms. As such we have worked with various parties to create an array of VEX curriculum offerings, each tailored to the specific needs of teachers wishing incorporate VEX into their classes.

The National STEM Center
A range of tools to help you engage with the STEM eLibrary Community. Read a resource review, submit your own comments, create your own personal lists of resources to share with colleagues or use online discussion groups to support, advise and share good practice.

The first of which, Curriki, comes closest to the wiki format, but there are a couple of flaws in our education system that detracts from this idea. First of which, Standardized Curriculum. I can’t tell you how many Science teachers I have worked with that are frustrated over the fact that they are essentially forbidden from bringing imagination or deeper topic investigation into their classroom because of State and National curriculum guidelines. This fact makes it very hard for a Science or Math teacher to utilize the exploratory curricular approach that a wiki could afford. The second problem lies in the need for one on one contact between the teacher who developed the curriculum and the teacher who wants to use it. I am in a situation right now where, for the first time, another teacher is teaching my curriculum. It is a great experience and really fun to see someone teach something you wrote, but at the same time it is a ton of work on my part to teach it all to him before hand.

So….I agree with you in your desire to see a more Wikipedia based system for delivering curriculum and I will say flat out: If anyone wants any of my curriculum, they are more then welcome to use it!

Good luck with your search and I hope I gave you a few more avenues to follow!

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