SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- PBwiki, Inc., the world's largest provider of business and educational hosted wikis, today announced two programs that will donate up to $25 million of its award-winning collaboration tools to educators and educational organizations. The programs are designed to help teachers and school districts bring the benefits of Web 2.0 to education even when faced with shrinking budgets.
SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — PBwiki, Inc., the world's largest provider of business and educational hosted wikis, today announced two programs that will donate up to $25 million of its award-winning collaboration tools to educators and educational organizations. The programs are designed to help teachers and school districts bring the benefits of Web 2.0 to education even when faced with shrinking budgets.
"With schools and libraries feeling the pinch of the slowing economy, PBwiki wants to make sure educators can still afford the tools they need to make 2008-2009 the year of collaborative learning," said PBwiki CEO Jim Groff. "Giving away 100,000 premium wikis lets us help out and spread wiki-based collaboration to an even wider audience."
PBwiki already hosts over 250,000 educational wikis, and throughout the year will be rolling out programs to bring together teachers, students, and parents, including hands-on, practical training and mentorship in using classroom wikis, online seminars from educational thought leaders, templates for classroom collaboration, and more.
PBwiki is even working with a team of researchers based at a prominent university to understand the advantages and best practices in using Web 2.0 tools in public education. Senior research team member Bob Wolf, a long-time veteran of The Boston Consulting Group, has extensively researched open source communities and technologies. "We believe that Web 2.0 technologies will define and be defined by the skill requirements of the 21st century workforce," Wolf said. "It is time to understand whether models have emerged for using these tools that are superior to traditional classroom teaching alone and what are the best approaches for the practitioner to implement them."
Program for Teachers and Librarians
PBwiki's Back To School Challenge (http://www.backtoschoolchallenge.com) allows up to 100,000 individual teachers and librarians to sign up and earn a free one-year Gold Upgrade (regular price $250) by using, blogging about, and referring others to PBwiki. In addition, top performers in the challenge will receive donations such as a $1,000 gift certificate from PBwiki for purchasing school supplies, educational products from LEGO(R) Education (The LEGO Group's educational division), autographed books from award-winning science author Janice Van Cleave, and the bilingual board game GiftTRAP (named "Best Party Game" by both Games Magazine and Creative Child Magazine). "With sales of more than two million copies, and translations in fifteen languages, my books are tools used by educators around the world to expand science education beyond the textbook," said Van Cleave, the author of popular books such as Janice VanCleave's Teaching the Fun of Science. "By enabling collaboration, wikis can add binomial expansion to the educational value in my books." For a list of these donations, visit the PBwiki web site (http://pbwiki.com/content/btsc-sponsors).
Program for School Districts and Educational Organizations
PBwiki's Partner Program for Education allows school districts and organizations that standardize on PBwiki to offer free one-year Gold Upgrades (regular price $250) as an exclusive membership benefit. Already, organizations such as the Mathematical Association of America, and the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers have signed up to offer PBwiki to the individual educators they serve. "We use PBwiki to help promote our annual meetings, and as a collaborative tool for a variety of special projects," said Michael Pearson, Associate Executive Director of the Mathematical Association of America. "There is growing interest in the use of wikis and other interactive, web-based tools for the classroom. Providing a free trial of PBwiki will allow our members to experiment and learn how to use wikis to benefit their students." School districts and organizations interested in joining the program should visit the Partner Program page (http://pbwiki.com/content/edupartners).
The Back To School Challenge and Partner Program for Education run through October 31, 2008.
About PBwiki, Inc.
PBwiki (www.pbwiki.com) is the world's largest provider of hosted business wikis. PBwiki hosts over 500,000 wikis, serves millions of users per month, and 96% of business users would recommend PBwiki to a friend. Leading companies and organizations like Deloitte Digital, DePaul University, and the FDA choose PBwiki to help them with knowledge management, collaboration, project management, and a host of other business processes and workflows. PBwiki's investors include Ron Conway and Mohr Davidow Ventures.
PBwiki is a registered trademark of PBwiki, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE PBwiki, Inc.