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Reality December 27, 2005

Posted by collaboration in Uncategorized.
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We’ve got a few teachers now using Blogger accounts to produce content for school. Initially our district was somewhat reluctant to link to sites outside of their purview. However, the few blogs that we do have come from teachers who are motivated, and see the usefulness of blogging, and the communication that comes from it.

I’ve been looking at blogging systems to deploy for students. CMS solutions like Plone, Joomla, Moodle and Drupal all allow degrees of blogging and security. Yet in the end the solution needs to be simple enough to support with limited time, yet powerful enough to be able to meet our needs.

B2evoluion seems to be the closest at this point. What killed WordPress and a number of others was the inability to implement a multi-user install for blogging. B2evolution allows one to fairly easily set up a blogging environment that might meet our needs.

Several php hacks have resulted in a fairly secure installation. I’m working on cutting our a lot of the stuff that will get in the way of using it in the classroom though. I’ve cut out student access to profiles, removed the ability to register, turned off comments for unregistered users as well as some other modifications.

This system will be fairly nimble in terms of deployment. For a middle school I don’t see student using blogs over a long period of time. I’ve got to be able to ’sell’ it to teachers. Being able to create and manage 20-30 blogs over several weeks, plus set up RSS feeds for the teacher is something that might fly. Perhaps an English unit where the kids practice writing online.

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