EDU 713/Web Site Review by Lori Pender
The Center for Adaptive Schools maintains a high quality website located at http://www.adaptiveschools.com/ where anyone in the field of education can find research based information on how a collaborative school culture enhances student achievement and overall school improvement. This web site provides information about Adaptive Schools, information about the educators associated with the Center for Adaptive Schools, and information about services and products available through the Center for Adaptive Schools. This organization’s mission is to help schools develop the technical and social resources to realize continuing student improvement, and this is reflected on the web site.

Authority

Dr. Garmston, Professor Emeritus, School of Education at California State University and Bruce Wellman, Co-Director of MiraVia LLC, a publishing, training, and consulting firm are co-authors and developers of the Adaptive Schools materials. Dr. Garmston has experience as a teacher, principal, superintendent, curriculum director, and consultant. Mr. Wellman teaches workshops and courses to teachers and administrators. Both men are award-winning authors and have expertise in the field of collaboration as it relates to school improvement.

Accuracy

The information presented is research based and proper references are given. A bibliography is also included. The information presented confirms other readings related to collaboration, student achievement, and school improvement. The text is also accurate in terms of grammar, spelling, and clear composition.

Objectivity

The object of this site is to inform educators of the changing needs of students, schools, and societies. It also serves to encourage a collaborative culture in schools, which offers a positive and productive means for organizing the work of ongoing school improvement. It does have a persuasive element in that products and resources are advertised to ensure this collaborative culture. The overwhelming amount of information is informative, but the products are available for sale.

Coverage

This site covers the idea of schools adapting to students’ changing needs by giving information on adaptivity, collaborative cultures, student learning, and shared leadership. It also covers information regarding seminars and training related to these ideas as well as resources and products available. Twice a month a page is posted under Skill Builder, which gives the reader a quick lesson about topics such as Professional Learning Communities. These are kept in an archived section for future reference. The site provides its own valuable information, but it does provide relevant outside links as well.

Currency

This site is kept current. The home page was updated as recently as July 7, 2010. Other pages have current dates that reflect information added in 2010 as well. The Skill Builders are posted by date. The information is relatively new with the current push for collaboration in schools, but the educational value is timeless.

Design and Navigation

This site is easily navigated and the information is easy to understand. The site is well organized by topics included on the sidebars. You can move through the pages easily and all the links are active. The color and font used is clear and appealing. This site represents a professional organization well in all aspects considered.

Recommendation

I would recommend this web site for professionals in the field of education who are invested in learning about improving student achievement through a collaborative culture. It contains valuable information based on educational research and practice. It also provides resources through recommended seminars and workshops. It provides the opportunity for schools or individuals to purchase products that would allow teachers to put theory into practice at their schools. Without purchasing any products, readers can still benefit from the reading. After reading, everyone has been informed that students benefit greatly from teachers in a collaborative culture rather than teachers as isolated practitioners. Professionals can understand key concepts for school improvement.