Friday, June 18, 2004

Weblogs @ School

There were many good sessions, workshops and discussions last week at NECC about Blogs, RSS and Wikis. Many of the sessions were blogged at NECC 2004.

The Blog@School workshop was invaluable. (My apologies for the blatant ripoff of the workshop title to use for this post )

Consensus by many of us that this is going to impact education more and more in the years to come.

Much more info – click on More… below to read the rest of this post.

Bernie Dodge did a great session on using Blogs and Wikis to make WebQuests more interactive.

Anne Davis also had a good session which I had to miss due to an ISTE meeting.

One of the things I wanted to find when I went to NECC was the killer app to run on our own servers to host student blogs. This is the only way to keep them secure on an Intranet and not have them published to the world, but gives you the option to publish them to the Internet if you want. Also, our policy is to not have school or classroom content posted outside our firewall.

What I found out from the experts is that we should not make any decision this year that would cost much money or time as things will be changing drastically in the next year. The three blog engines that get recommended the most often are Manilla (inexpensive for schools), Moveable Type (fairly spendy) and Word Press (open source). Just this week Apple Computer announce major support for RSS andBlogs in the next version of OS X (Tiger). Apple has an online video showing RSS support in Tiger. Tom Hoffman adds some good comments about Blojsom in his blog.

We were using pMachine on our server but it does not support multiple blogs well. With the full version you can have multiple blogs, but each person can post to anyone else’s, sometimes by accident. This blog and our district blog are now running off Word Press. It was the easiest install of any of the blog software that we have tried to date.

For more information check out the resources I have bookmarked forBlogsWikis and RSS. Note: these are currently in a format for a college class on web design that I am teaching, so ignore any references to required reading or assignments

Check out my web site for Technology Leaders, and my collection of “techie” links.

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