The HRDWG's new WIKI site is up and running. The WIKI is a collaborative website in which APEC members and member-nominated experts can edit existing pages or create new pages related to APEC projects. It aims to improve how the HRD does its project work by providing a platform by which the cumulative knowledge base from project products can continually be updated and expanded. Ultimately, communities of practice will form around APEC topics to share and debate ideas, policies and promising interventions.

Past practice has been to carry out projects through separate networks, even when projects are overlapping. For example, vocational education projects have been run independently and in isolation in each of the three separate HRD Networks. But the WIKI process will allow for the development of a joint framework that will permit across-network collaboration. And in areas of overlap, say for example such as in gender equity or transnational education services, the WIKI mechanism facilitates cross-Working Group cooperation. Content is easily updated, and other experts in the field are easily able to add or build on the content that was originally presented.

The site also offers the public with direct links to curriculum standards, test items, and examples of classroom teaching in mathematics and science. Users can get a quick look at the common educational challenges facing those economies. For example visitors to the site can read the translated math standards being used in Chinese schools, along with those of Japan, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and others, and they can view video demonstrations of exemplary teaching. A guide to developing high-quality mathematics lessons is being jointly prepared with multi-economy experts working collaboratively using the HRD Wiki.

"Anyone can access the site to view the HRD content. However, material is added through a password-protected system which allows approved education experts in Member Economies to submit and update information that APEC's members, and the public at large, might find useful," said Alan Ginsburg, Lead Shepherd of the HRDWG.

APEC members arrange to have their curricular materials and other resources translated into English, typically by a university researcher or another source.

"It's a way for us to collaboratively build an expanding knowledge base among APEC economies that draws upon the strengths and experiences of different education and labor systems," Ginsburg explained. "It's a way that we can begin to identify what our differences are, take advantage of the APEC region as a laboratory for promising policies and practices, and discuss their transferability in different member contexts."

The site is rapidly evolving, Ginsburg noted, and it's likely to include much more information in the future than it does now. Since its recent inception in June at the 4th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Lima, the Wiki has already reached over 24,000 visitors from 19 member economies and 31 non-APEC countries with different visitors and groups discovering different Wiki resources. At the AEMM, the Ministers encouraged further education work facilitated by the wiki. "This work must continue to grow... assisted through collaborative technologies such as the APEC Wiki that provides the platform for a common knowledge base."

Education Week, the American education newspaper of record, reviewed the site and noted the wealth of information for anybody interested in how other member economies are doing things in education. The United States' National Science Teachers Association also has pointed its members to the Wiki's science standards from different APEC Economies and translated into English. Of note is the wiki's popularity with math education bloggers who have highlighted the translated math assessment questions from different member economies found on the wiki as a means of education sharing and networking.

The HRDWG's WIKI site seems to be a great way to take advantage of new communication technology to expand the reach of APEC's work and share information with an interested and relevant audience. For more information, contact Brian Fu and Adriana de Kanter, who lead WIKI development.