Date:

01/02/09

link to flashmeeting

Attendees:

- nwinton nwinton
- daibarnes daibarnes
- jrowing jrowing
Jim Groom http://bavatuesdays.com
robthill
- davidgilmour davidgilmour http://edubuzz.org/blogs/david
- dajbelshaw dajbelshaw
- mrstacey mrstacey
- theok theok may be late - at another meeting
Stuart Meldrum
- leoncych leoncych
- sinclairmackenzie sinclairmackenzie - if I can get in ;-)
- johnjohnston johnjohnston
Krysia
Apologies:


Actions from PREVIOUS Meeting:




Agenda:


I have moved other items to the bottom of the agenda to be discussed at close of WPMU ifr there's time or moved to next week.

Special focus for this meeting on Word Press Multi-User (WPMU)** and blogging in the classroom.


WPMU
WPMU

Questions:

  1. Why would you want your students to have a blog?
  2. What are your options for setting up students blogs? (Edublogs/Posterous/Wordpress.com/self-hosted >> pros & cons)
  3. What is WordPress?
  4. Why use WPMU?
  5. Is there any cost incurred using WPMU?
  6. What are the pitfalls and difficulties using WPMU for: a) teachers and b) pupils?
  7. What are 'themes' and 'plugins' and which would we recommend?
  8. How would you tackle assessment using WPMU?
  9. How would you placate other teachers or parents who might be concerned about online presence in the classroom?
  10. Any other questions?

NB: Whilst our specialists are talking, it would be good to ask questions or seek clarification if required whilst they are on a particular point. Therefore, if everyone agrees, I'd like to encourage use of the FlashMeet interrupt button to enrich the dialogue. I thought it best to start with the basics of defining blogging and blogging in the classroom and developing into the more complex issues this topic stimulates.

Those with particular experience attending are:

Jim Groom running WPMU at universities (see blog above)
Dave Gilmour running WPMU for East Lothian schools ( Site is http://edubuzz.org)
Bob Hill worked with WPMU as user and teacher trainer
Dave Stacey running WPMU on his school server, and experimenting with pupils and staff blogging
Doug Belshaw worked with WPMU as a teacher with pupils in the classroom
JRowing worked with WPMU as a teacher with pupils in the classroom

Maybe Doug could do the beginning?? (Yep, I'll lead the conversation on this one! - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw)

Could we explain when WPMU is necessary? With shared hosting (what most of us buy to self-host a WP blog) there are offers of unlimited subdomains, MySQL databases, etc. so why not just install loads of blogs into different subdomains , e.g. http://pupil1.myclass.net, http://pupil2.myclass.net, http://pupil3.myclass.net each with own database using Fantastico script on CPanel. Just wondering when moving to WPMU (and possible complications that brings) becomes worthwhile exercise. - sinclairmackenzie sinclairmackenzie

For me, its a scaling issue. With WPMU I've got control over users and blogs from one central place, and one installation to upgrade, rather than well... lots! It might be worth providing a checklist for people to think through when working out which option they want - mrstacey mrstacey



Actions for NEXT Meeting:




Further Contributors or Thoughts

  • When did we agree to a special focus on this? Don't get me wrong, I think it runs nicely from end of last week with the input from Margaret Vass but short notice, isn't it? Don't we want to make sure we have people like David Gilmour from East Lothian available? He has WPMU running for edubuzz.org and has established the model that many of us would want to follow.
  • We would need to make sure we don't spend ages looking at why you would want the blog in the first place. We covered this way back in ETR1.
  • I would not welcome encouraged use of an interrupt button. If people took the hint from the chat (e.g. "CAMEL" has been said in last 2 weeks) then it is not required. My personal feeling is that it's use lack manners. If speaker follows the chat then they can see what questions are being raised. - sinclairmackenzie sinclairmackenzie I agree with you on this one I think - it's what the chat channel is for after-all - jrowing jrowing
  • It's all me Sinclair. Got carried away earlier today when thinking about WPMU. Should have sought agreement at end of meeting. Have got a gentleman from USA interested in joining also. We could postpone until we've discussed it on Sunday. I've DM'd @dgilmour to see if he can attend. Also Bob. I also appreciate what you say about the interrupt. If used with respect I thought it might work to enrich the podcast. - daibarnes daibarnes
  • Here's a link that might help guide some of the things for discussion of self-hosting http://www.problogdesign.com/wordpress/10-things-to-do-after-installin.... - sinclairmackenzie sinclairmackenzie
  • Given that there is a LOT to cover in the list above, is it worth focussing this specifically at those who have been using Edublogs but are unhappy with the ads, touching (breifly) on those issues that those who haven't used Edublogs might need covered to make sense of what we're talking about? - mrstacey mrstacey