Around here we’re still a couple weeks away from school opening and it’s the usual late-August race to get everything ready. From the questions and requests for help we’ve been getting, one of the big tasks seems to be cleaning up the school web site.
Many of the tech trainers we work with in the schools have been handed this job ("other duties as assigned"), what our overly large school system calls "web curator". It’s actually a very appropriate title since many school, and central office, sites are updated as often as most museums.
However, that’s not the fault of the curators. They haven’t been given any modern tools for accomplishing the task.
We continue to use the gatekeeper system for web publishing, meaning that one and only one person in a school has access to the web server and all content must go through them. The result, of course, is that even a simple update is a pain to accomplish.
Don’t even mention the possibility of hosting a blog or a wiki. Depending on which IT person you ask, the open source software that run those tools is either a security risk or unstable. RSS? That technology eats up too many server resources. Students posting content? You must be kidding!
So, we begin another school year using web publishing tools from the previous century. And few opportunities for teachers and students to communicate with the world.
Although there could be other paths to take. Right? :-)