James asks a legitemate question in response to my post on Friday, I guess. “Quelle point?” I know what he’s saying, that trying to work under the restrictions that my district is imposing is kind of taking away all the good things that Weblogs make available like commenting and free expression and all that other stuff. But I guess I bristle a bit at the suggestion that because that’s the reality we should just stick to the same old paradigm for creating school Websites which usually entails the almighty Webmaster cranking out static pages in Dreamweaver or Front Page creating the same old pretty monotonous product that most school sites currently have. Yeah, I know we’re not gonna be “blogging” here, at least not at the outset. But we are going to be enlisting 40 or 50 more people in the process. And we are going to be introducing Weblogs to teachers and students and parents which will most likely generate greater use in the classroom. And we’re going to be showcasing the best practices of our teachers and students. And in doing so we’re going to be able to communicate a heckuva lot more effectively with the people in our community by using RSS and group notification and more. At least in theory. And while the process may seem cumbersome and restrictive, the excitement that many teachers are showing at the potential tells me it might just work.
This is my reality and the reality of most public schools in America. There are concerns about how we present ourselves to our publics. There is unease with letting people express themselves freely on a district owned Web space. We want to protect our students who are, after all, still just kids. These concerns are legitimate. It is not the perfect fit for pure blogging. But so what?
The point is that no one knows that Weblogs can’t be a great tool for educators even without the interaction. And I can tell you I’ll never get to where I think we can get without proving this step first. So, I’m going to stay the course…
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