There’s a really great discussion about student access issues going on at Pat and Seb’s sites…I wish I had more time to chime in. One of the kind of nervy parts about back to school night last week was when a couple of parents ask how we prevent knuckleheads from the outside from getting into kids Web logs and causing havoc. I didn’t have a great answer…I know that the easiest solution is to just sign up all the requisite members then close membership for the site and just let kids admit members by taking requests. At least that way their writing and their sites are still there for people to see. (Someone correct my thinking here if it’s faulty.)
Pat says “the simplest solution for mlk student blogging seems to be letting large numbers of students share Contributing Editor status on one blog.” I’m still trying to picture this…would each kid create a personal story page? And then just edit it as they go along?
Such aggregation of student pages gives tremendous “access control” to the ME, right? And to as many MEs as a teacher wants to add. Just have any page notices sent to whoever needs to be notified. But wait. Filter it even more. We have an Esoteric Setting plugin on the BAWP sites, letting us make a site “members only” or “open to the public” with the click of a button. Add to that the not-hacker-proof-but-useful turning off of public access membership and to various content (stories, pics, gems, etc.) in Editorial Preferences, and an ME can significantly limit public access to student work within a publicly accessible site. Throw in a strictly enforced appropriate use policy and we’re close to COPPA and CIPA compliant. That is one kind of cumbersome aspect of reading kids’ Web logs that I am finding…having to go into each one separately to leave feedback. I’m just so time stressed right now that any shortcut would help. And I’m still going to have to learn template creation so I can build some of those settings in like Pat suggests.
At any rate, this is the best part, this figuring it out stuff. Nothing like going through it to see how it works and clarify your thinking. And Manila has so many layers to explore. Which is a good thing…keeps me interested.