The Biodiversity Schools database is an online system designed to allow schools to construct their own Shared knowledge space about local biodiversity.
It consists of databases and web application system that allow students to build infomration by using the internet browser software on a computer or mobile device such as a tablet or mobile phone. The system provides logins for teachers and students with different levels of access to the system. The content management system in the site allows you to construct the structure and content of the site and to then build a knowledge system by adding information in all its forms to the system over time.
The Biodiversity Schools database utilises educational process around taking knowledge, exploring it and putting it into a knowledge system. It provides schools with the capability to construct an online knowledge system around their local biodiversity. It is designed to facilitate the gathering, publishing and sharing of information and casts the students in the role of content editors and creators, not just passive consumers of online material. It is a powerful way to reinforce learning and build all the knowledge linkages that go with it.
Building a shared online knowledge system is a powerful learning strategy. There are very exciting learning dynamics for teachers to understand in these processes. There are elements of the broader Wikipedia phenomenon as well as the ability to transform learning. It is important for educators to understand the explicit teaching opportunities and moments that come from the sorts of processes engaged during these projects in order to reap the learning outcomes. This happens at a simple level, by allowing an element of an experience to be captured, e.g a photograph, and this image used to transport the moment back into the classroom where the more complex processes unfold as the material is processed.