One month into Manila with my kids, here’s what I think:
1. I’m loving the way my Journalism home page is looking…it really is such a breeze to update and make pretty. And I’m loving the concept of the class home page even more with Manila because of the interactivity.
2. Now that I have the discussion feature, I still don’t really know what to do with it. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of a J-Talk type page is cool, but my kids don’t seem as apt to post this time around. After all my longings for Metafilter, now I pretty much have it and don’t know what to do with it.
3. Wish there was some way for a managing editor to organize the posts of his/her minions. The Bees site is good but not as effective since I’m not able to organize the posts.
4. I’m wondering how effective general discussion weblogs will be with kids who see each other face to face every day. Distance learning, absolutely. But I don’t get the sense that they see the need to do all that discussing online, and maybe I don’t either.
5. I’m anxious, however, to see how it works when giving feedback to writing, which is what my journalism kids will be doing this weekend. I’ve broken them into groups of four, and each student will have to post a feedback response to each of his/her groupmates stories. I have a feeling this is a better use.
6. I’ve been pleased with the relatively few technical glitches, except of course for the gems disaster. Only one site has cracked.
7. Although the department feature allows for organizing posts, I still need to think more about how to have kids set up their weblogs. Maybe flipping with departments is a better answer, I don’t know.
8. While it makes my paperwork life easier, it has taken a bit to get used to doing everything on the computer. My kids create NO paper, which actually made it more difficult to learn their names since I didn’t have anything to hand back to them. I think I’m getting the hang of it now, though.