Drupal, at its base installation, is a blank slate, a content management system that can be used to create a large variety of different websites. Thus, DrupalEd is preconfigured for creating a community site suitable for the online writing classroom, a highly configurable platform that better facilitates community interaction and collaboration than is possible with proprietary course management systems. Educators will find that this distribution, once installed, eliminates 95% of the work involved in setting up a Drupal site for a writing class, as well as containing some documentation materials which will reduce the learning curve for site administration.
Here at NECC, there has been lots of talk about the “best” tool for classroom Weblog application, and frankly, there haven’t been a lot of good answers. One of the ironies is that as I walked around the exhibit hall yesterday, I must have seen over a dozen booths that were pitching various products that blogs can already do for a fraction of the cost (i.e online portfolio, course management software.) And then there were those few things that I found myself wishing were included in the current choices (i.e. calendaring.)
The killer app for edublogging isn’t anywhere out there right now, and the general consensus among those of us who actually spend time thinking about these things is that the tools are changing so fast anyway that in a couple of years whatever works now will probably be obsolete. That being said, we need to put together a comparison of current software from an educator’s perspective, i.e. how much, how hosted, security, preview posting, ease of setup, etc. I think Anne may have started on this, but is there any reason why we the community shouldn’t start wiki-ing this stuff into an edublogpedia?