I wrote about this on a different blog that I help maintain and thought if you haven't heard of it yet, Classroom 2.0 people would be interested:
The latest edition of Smithsonian Magazine contained a 1-page write up about a new initiative that the Smithsonian is partnering with other organizations on called the Encyclopedia of Life
. The project is unique in many ways, some of which are briefly outlined below:
* The goal of the Encyclopedia of Life is to document all known species (some 1.8 million!) each on a media-rich web page including still images, maps, video, text, sound recordings and so forth. According to the current web site of the Encyclopedia of Life, it has been estimated that the project will take roughly 10 years to complete. Dynamic content will be authenticated by a team of scientists from various organizations around the world. Page development started in 2007. Some parts of the Encyclopedia of Life may be available to the public in mid-2008.
* The site will be interactive. There will be a chat feature and access to experts. It will feature an interactive classification map of species. And, importantly, users will be able to contribute content. Think of the possibilities for classroom studies and projects!
* The Encyclopedia of Life will allow for personalization and customizable browsing. Users will be able to change the level of complexity of the text (think differentiation). And people who create accounts will be able to bookmark pages, make tags, and take notes.
For an intriguing video
s of a few species’ pages and more info, see the current web site: Encyclopedia of Life