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The Future of Expression Engine

One of the reasons I selected Expression Engine for this site is that the developers, who have a good track record, are planning future modules which I believe will be very helpful to us.

One of these is a “community weblog” which will allow individual members to create their own blogs quickly and easily and begin blogging without an administrator needing to create each blog. This would allow each student to have his/her own blog. A teacher could subscribe to these blogs using RSS feeds, so that new content from the student blogs would appear on the teacher’s blog, without having to search for it. Here’s a simple introduction to educational weblogs and RSS feeds, and how together they might make school a different sort of enterprise.

But this functionality isn’t available yet.

My plans for this year were to get teachers familiar with this blog--how to post assignments, small articles, lesson plans--and how to have a few students post to our online magazine and our sixties expedition.

I’m especially interested in hiring 3 or so teachers who want to maintain a blog on some topic of interest to heritage teachers or students--finding and linking to good resources in documentary photography for the classroom, maintaining a discussion of Montana literature, monitoring how project-based educators respond to NCLB, journaling about using Windows media player as the platform for student projects, or something such. I’m thinking two or three hours of blogging a week for about $50/week.

If you have ideas for such a column, comments to this post would be a good place to begin developing them.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 09/12 at 01:37 PM
  1. Maybe later when I have a little more time, or a different job, or setting it up is easier.  I did keep a teaching blog last year on blogspot.  I’ve not been good this year.  If my days were just an hour longer. . . 

    I would like to keep a blog--heritage though.  A tech one too.

    Posted by  on  09/14  at  08:02 AM
  2. HOw about technology in the modern classroom?  That’s something English teachers fastenened on to early with keyboarding, but many have gone no further.  I’ve got lots of ideas on how technology can work in all aspects here, and especially with project based learning.  FYI:  Our school has scheduled a day with the Golden Triangle for an intro do DI.

    Posted by  on  09/14  at  08:04 AM
  3. I would like to see something on technology in the modern classroom. I think it takes a while to see how blogging is different than regular writing, and I’m not in much of hurry.

    An important difference, I think, is how conversation it it. I mean with other bloggers. I envision finding a set of bloggers who are following a topic, and then joining them. Subscribing to their RSS feed so their posts come to you each day, and then responding to and extending their thoughts, sometimes adding new thoughts they trigger.

    So when I talk about two or three hours a week, I would think two thirds of that would be reading--forming a viewpoint in the midst of a particular information environment--which also seems a powerful thing for kids to learn how to do in this world.

    It took me a long time to even be interested in what bloggers were doing or to see the value of it. Now I’m quite taken by it all.

    I’m also very interested in bloggers who will aim at a student audience rather than a teacher audience. I think this takes more skillful writing, and I always intend to do it, then slip back into my well-worn graduate school ways.

    By “DI” I hope you don’t mean “Direct Instruction.”

    I asked Linda McCulloch last week how worried we should be about NCLB and the ensuing world view. She thought we would be fine.

    Posted by Michael L Umphrey  on  09/15  at  12:04 AM






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