So, ironically, Userland is building in even more flexibility for teachers and students in it’s 9.6 version due out soon. CEO Scott Young says:
This is an important issue for many educators using blog technology in the classroom and revolves around the ability to protect and insulate the student’s work from criticism – especially the destructive kind – before its released to the class or the school in general. As such the teacher needs the ability to review a students work and comment / advise before its published. This iterative process may require several cycles before the work is ready for prime time. While an editorial oversight process is pretty different from the way most blog software behaves, its crucially important for academic blogging applications.
So for Manila 9.6 we will provide the ability for a Managing Editor to moderate and approve material before its published to a wider audience. On a site with this feature enabled, all items the students create will be “pending” items. Pending items can only be seen and edited by the creator and the Managing Editor. To simplify the process of collecting and reviewing “pending” items, they will be collected for review on a single page by the site’s Managing Editor (the teacher). The “pending items” page will list the author, department/category, date created, date last edited and by whom, a checkbox to delete the item, and a button to “publish” the item to the home page.
Ok, I think I get that. When students are contributing to a teacher-owned site, the teacher can now review what students write before it gets published. But on a student owned site, if the student is a managing editor, there is still no way to do prior review unless the teacher takes the managing editor role on the student’s site and the student is given a lesser editorial role. Get it? I think I’d rather do that a bit differently.
I’m rewriting the Manila documents for my teachers today (if anyone wants a copy of what I come up with, just let me know.) But there is still one thing I won’t be able to add that for a split second when reading Scott’s post today I thought I would:
“And, Manila also allows site owners to moderate comments that are left on the site by approving their publication before they can be seen publically.”
Scott, if you’re listening…