I had the pleasure of hosting a second roundtable discussion this morning. The room was full and we had some good discussion of many of the issues that come up whenver there’s a discussion of blogs, wikis, and other interactive, Web-based tools.
I pointed everyone to James Farmer’s edublogs site where any educator can create a free blog. There was a good mix of bloggers and those interesting in blogging at the session, and I think almost everyone walked away with something new to think about. I passed a “blogroll” sheet around and found a couple bloggers willing to share their URLS. Check out Blogs in the Schools and The Geek’s Classroom.
I was exciting to learn about two sites that I hadn’t explored yet. Matt, of Blogs in the Schools fame, described how he’s using Blogmeister with his students. I’m not sure how I missed this tool that comes from David Walicks’s Landmark Project. Blogmeister puts the teacher in control of what gets published on each student blog and what comments appear via email notification and moderation. I will investigate this further for sure.
The other interesting suggestion was for Web Collaborator, a fusion of wiki and a discussion board. I’m trying to check it out, but I can’t get the site to load. I’ll keep checking.
We talked a bit about Wikipedia, of course, spending a fair bit of time discussing wiki reliability. I continue to contend that “the proof is in the pudding” and consistently find Wikipedia useful. Several other people in the room agreed. I pointed out how any Wikipedia user can mark an article “in dispute.” (See the article on Criticism of the Iraq War for an example as of today.) I just noticed a notice on the Iraq War article that I hadn’t seen before. It says: “This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. This article has been tagged since October 2005.” (There are 9,433 articles currently tagged for “cleanup” as of today.) Interesting.
I hope I’m remembering all of the links I was planning to make in this post. If anyone from the session reads this, please let me know if I forgot anything by posting a comment. (And thanks for coming out bright and early for the session.)