Students at Diocesan Girls' School (DGS) are using collaborative Web site technology to work independently of the teacher and develop their own ideas about science. The site, Knowledge Forum ( www.knowledgeforum.com ), allows students to research areas of interest and submit their findings for the rest of the class to share. 'We might ask about the ocean and habitat, for example,' says Helen Hung Wai-yi, a Form One integrated science teacher at DGS. 'Students then use the forum to submit findings on what creatures live in sea, what they eat, and how they breed.' The forum, an e-workspace developed at the University of Toronto over 15 years, enables users to create text and graphics, read and add to each others' notes, and search for information. About 160 Form One and Two integrated science students are using the site through a Schools' Professional Collaboration Project (SPCP) with the University of Hong Kong's Centre of Information Technology in School and Teacher Education (CITE). 'We've been using the forum for two years,' says Hung. 'They enjoy it because it gives them freedom to learn.' The aim is to improve students' higher-order thinking, she adds. 'The site allows them to see the way other people think and arrange their ideas. It's very co-operative.' She says sixth-form students help monitor the content. The next step will be for Form One and Two students to create their own e-learning groups and nominate leaders to monitor work. 'This is a great opportunity for students to take responsibility for their own learning,' says Hung. CITE is training teachers and students from 20 local secondary schools to use the forum as part of its Learning Community project, funded by the University Grants Committee. DGS shares its experience at the Teachers' Centre, North Point, at 9am. It will suggest ways to exploit the technology in class. For more information, visit www.knowledgeforum.com and www.cite.hku.hk .