Someone (can’t remember who) was asking me the other day about closed-off journaling tools (limited audiences / student-teacher) … naturally I wasn’t too receptive to the idea and muttered something about ‘point’ and ‘might as well use Word’ but there are some good solutions out there too. Elgg is an obvious one with it’s access permissions all set up, and I just came across this Drupal module that would seem to do the same.
So there you go, have fun pointlessly using the web ;)
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I would have joined your ‘what’s the point’ chorus but I’m beginning to change my mind. Have a listen to my latest podcast http://feeds.feedburner.com/LDR?m=16 . I pick up on something Meta Trott says regarding not everybody wanting to be a citizen journalist. Reading between the lines I think six apart are looking at new ways to ‘filter’ (not lock down) connections. The optimist in me feels there can be a way to enable people to have safe conversations between small interested groups in a way that doesnt completely ruin the goodness of doing so in complete public.
Would love to read your more eloquent version of my rambles..
Fang – Mike Seyfang – LearnDog
The importance of the web isn’t that it’s public – it’s that it’s information rich and platform independent. Not everything has to be publishing to the world, and actually, I think it’s healthier that content designed for a small group of people is limited to those people. Otherwise the web just fills up with context-less information of no relevance.
I think you misunderstand me a bit, I mean teachers *literally* asking me how their students can use blogs like Word (i.e. write a reflective journal and submit) I suggested that email would probably make it a lot more interesting but no…
information / communication … I guess it’s as much a philosophical question as anything.
Eloquence in short supply at teh mo ;)
Oh, I see. They used to make us do that at school with paper journals for Personal and Social Education – I enjoyed it but nobody around me seemed to (possibly explains why I started blogging and they all didn’t). If they’re on-site and there’s no sharing at all, I’m not sure if there’s any reason to use a computer aside from to build computer skills. There’s no point in using computers for their own sake, after all.
I’m using Drupal with the Organic Groups module to do this exact thing – student teachers write their “journal” entries, and select the group(s) that can read it. Then, their teachers/partners/mentors can see the posts, but Google can’t, and other students and teachers in the program can’t. This replaces a really dysfunctional paper-based process, where students would write their entries in a blue binder, and hand that in to their prof or mentor for review. But, they can’t write any more entries until they get the book back. And the prof and mentor would have to physically share the binder to review it…
But, yeah, replacing Word is not the goal here…
Great Conversation – so what if Ben and I missed the point somewhat.
I think, from a platform perspective, that being able to decide, per post, how wide the distribution goes is a key piece.
Im so inspired that I have just ripped open my ‘Moleskine’ for the first time and will start my less public journalling today.
My university class (Oral Rhetoric) is on an Elgg Community blog, and they decide individually how public they want to be. It’s required that everybody in the course can see their blog, and hear their MP3s, but if they want privacy beyond that, they can choose it. It’s more than Word, because the class is communicating as a class. They have become a wonderful learning community, asking questions and giving anwers, and helping each other with their assignments. I don’t know that it’s the blog that is creating this energy; I think it’s probably the culture of the program they’re in. Our community blog is a good space, with a good energy, at least partially because they have a sense of control.
Many universities have Blackbaud or WebCT which restricts access to logged in users (and Moogs and MUDS?). But an open or Internet solution might be http://www.quicktopic.com/
The URL for each discussion site are scrambled so it is unlikely they would be crawled, i.e., semi-private. The entries still remain publicly accessible, just unlikely for those not knowing the exact URL.
What happened to marking WP posts as private with a password?
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