One interesting off shoot of the recent interest in Web logs here has been their potential in terms of articulation through the sending districts. We have four districts that feed their kids to us and it’s an ongoing struggle to try to make sure all of those students have similar skills and experiences. The supervisors in the different districts hardly ever talk to one another except for tri-annual meetings here with the department supervisors.
This week I spoke with both the Science and Social Studies supervisor groups about the concept of Web logs as learning object repositories and as ways for teachers and students to collaborate. The Social Studies group, in fact, wants to move forward and have a prototype in place for the fall. Still a lot of details to work out, but right now we’re thinking that teachers could use a template in Word and then copy and paste the results into Manila. I stressed that the process should be as easy as possible. (Any one have the new release date for the kinder gentler Manila???)
The biggest hurdle here as voiced by both groups is getting teachers to actually use it once it’s set up. At some point, I’m going to have to focus on that question as well as we move to Web log Web site. We’ve talked here about replacing the normal hallway or cafeteria duty that our teachers have with Web log duty or providing some other release time to those willing to maintain the individual sites. And I know that a key to success here will to focus on the integration of Web logs into the curriculum. If that is successful, the Web site as a whole will be successful as well. Still, it might be interesting to get a conversation going about ways to bring teachers to the table and participate in lesson archives or other such activities.