To my template post from a couple of days ago, Sam says: “Teachers (and others I think) are often misguided in their belief that just because they am using computers the task will be easy, computers can make complex tasks easier, but they take time to set up and time to learn. People must be willing to take that step to get the results that they want. Too often I take a lot of time setting something up for a teacher and then when they have a small glitch they give up, because they are not a part of the process, they lack an understanding of the effort that it takes. Technology is not “magic” it is work and if you want to use it, take the time.” True, I think, for the most part. But the fact of the matter is a) Manila’s interface is not as intuitive as it could be, and b) most teachers will continue to give up unless the process is made more intuitive. Again, look at the hundreds of DEAD MANILA SITES out there. Pam and others point to time being the biggest obstacle, and so I just think it’s too easy to say “take the time to learn it.” I sacrifice much to take the time to maintain and tweak this site and to learn the ins and outs of Manila.
And Pat says “Sure, to go beyond that stage, you need imagination, time, infrastructure and support. But those requirements have nothing to do with the tool.” I’m going to suggest that they do have much to do with the tool. If the perception is that it’s going to take a lot of imagination, time, etc. to personalize the tool, then few will do it. And Manila gives that impression. Again, I’ll refer to Pam who despite years of tech experience is struggling with the software.
I’ve been teaching teachers for years, and I’m hoping that becomes my full time job (for the most part) here in a few weeks. I’d love to bring Web logs to my school in a greater fashion, and I’m sure I will. I’LL probably use Manila, but I’m still not convinced it’s the best way to introduce the concept to the rest of my colleagues.