Katie A.
Website Review
Centers for Adaptive Schools

Overall Description of the Website:
The name of the website is http://www.adaptiveschools.com/ which is a website that aims at providing people with the basic information regarding the Center for Adaptive Schools. The website explains the goals or mission of the company, how growth can be achieved in schools and the services and products that are available through The Center for Adaptive Schools. More specifically this company will provide professional development services in order to improve the development of dialogue, discussions and decision making skills by improving collaboration and promoting group work within a working community. Their mission is to help schools develop the technical and social resources to encourage student improvement through fostering collaborative relationships and engaging collective energies towards common goals. Overall the website is easy to navigate, and offers links along the left hand side of the page that lead to more specific information. The information is concise, but gives you enough information to look further into trainings, and resource products.
There are many features that signify the authority of the Center of Adaptive Schools website. The bottom of the website has both the creators and developers of the site, named Dr. Garmston and Bruce Wellman. Dr. Garmston is a Professor at California State University and also an award winning author of books and articles dealing with staff development and educational leadership. He had provided all of the information needed in order to contact him. The co-founder and co-developer of the program is Bruce Wellmen, is a co-director of MiraVia, a consulting firm. He too is an award winner author or publications relating to collaborating and can be contacted in all areas. The site also endorses Cognitive Coaching Seminars which is a program for increasing principles and skills learned in interactive settings.
The purpose of this site is to inform people of the function of Adaptive Schools. It provides people with the background of the company, the people that developed and founded it and also how through strategic collaboration techniques, they can help people learn to collaborate. The company offers workshops, seminars and training events to help people learn to use techniques and to improve collaboration in the areas of shared norms and values, collective focus, collaboration, deprivatized practice and reflective dialogue. The domain name has their company title clearly labeled however it is important that you read through the website in order to find the purpose of their company. It is extremely organized and easy to browse through and the links offer valuable insight regarding further readings and recommended websites.
The coverage of the website does seem to be one sided and that their assistance will ultimately make you and your staff work more collaboratively. It does not claim to be comprehensive, and the topics are not explored in depth. That is mainly because the purpose of the site is not to inform the reader of what they are researching but rather sell training, workshops and seminars to inform people of the techniques that they will be able to use. The site does offer information about what the seminars are aimed to do, and it is supported through links and readings however it appears as though finding out more specific information would require going to one of the trainings.
The date of the information was first copy written in 2003, and last time the website was revised was January 24, 2010. The information on the site is also current and explains upcoming trainings, events, and seminars that run through April 2011. The site offers up to date links that are reliable and working and is in full working condition. It seems evident that someone took a lot of time to establish the dates and locations of all of the seminars which are informative and helpful to any user.
The objectivity of the site is clear, but does seem to present a certain bias that the company will work and improve collaboration in a working environment. It does not present any guarantees that it will certainly work but it does suggest that it will improve what type of relationships have been developed already. The information certainly seems to sway the audience and encourages them to use their program in order to improve. The site does avoid advertising that may be a conflict of interest and does not seem to have any outside promotional advertisements. It does however try to persuade and sell something, buying the ideas of collaboration which is basically the purpose of the website! The website is essentially selling their product which are guided seminars and workshops. It also sells books, programs, posters and visual aids that customers can use as tools after or before attending the trainings.
The accuracy of the information can be seen in some of the sources that the authors quote and also site within the website. There are no factual data charts, or statistics given, but there has been award winning articles and research completed on the topic. After browsing through the internet, there does not appear to be any other major web pages devoted to the particular topic, Adaptive Schools. However, there has been extensive research on the techniques to improve collaboration in the areas of shared norms and values, collective focus, collaboration, deprivatized practice and reflective dialogue. The subject matter of the website appears to be accurate, and it does follow the rules of grammar, spelling and composition. The reference list is included, and you are able to contact the people who founded and developed this company.
I would recommend this site to others if you were able and or interested in using this company to either attend one of their training seminars or interested in purchasing their books. I don’t think that this site is useful when trying to casually find out information regarding collaboration and or techniques. This website is meant for people to become interested in their “product” and to use a seminar or workshop as a training tool for their career advancement. I would not recommend this site for users looking to gain more information from the internet, but rather for people looking for a hands on experience that will allow them physically see and use the tools and techniques necessary for increasing productive work environments. I think that an ideal age group would be working class men and women ages 24 to 50. I think it requires a type of person that is willing to change, and go beyond their comfort zone in order to try to better themselves and their work environment. It can be used on a daily basis and changed and modified to fit the needs of any specific group. I think that the skills and techniques that they learn through this Adaptive Schools Program will be skills they can use for the rest of their life.