Sunday, July 25, 2004
Home from Camp Apple
When I had an opportunity to share my professional achievements, I said, "showing learners how to use technology to tell the story of their learning, whether through e-portfolios, digital stories, or blogs." My highlighted personal achievement was working with my grandchildren to help them develop their e-portfolios.
In the long, or for that matter medium term, you're barking up the wrong tree in focusing on Manila, particularly if you're a Mac person. Manila has a decent installed base among schools, but it is an old technology only supported by a small company in dubious financial shape. Even if it survives the next several years, as an application it is clearly an evolutionary dead end.
I think Apple's education team needs to start having beers with their OS development team, because you shouldn't have been able to say the word "blog" at this conference without someone pitching the advantages of the coming integration of the Blojsom (http://wiki.blojsom.com/wiki/display/blojsom/About+blojsom) weblog server into the upcoming Tiger server release (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/tiger/). Blojsom is an ongoing open source project, so if you can find a competent system administrator he or she can install it on a server for you right now, but it will be great for schools when it comes preinstalled with their server os.
I have a longer blog post on the matter here: http://tuttlesvc.teacherhosting.com/blog/blosxom.cgi/labor/education/blogging/Blosjom.html
I concur with Tom Hoffman's comments about Manila and Userland. I have been running Frontier/Manila on a Mac for >5 years, and for the first time this spring, I am not renewing my district's subscription. The cost (which is increasing) just isn't worth it now that there are so many good open source alternatives that run great on Mac OS X. I am looking very closely at Plone to replace not only our Manila installations but also a Frontier-based web application I wrote prior to Manila's emergence.
Hawthorn School District 73, Vernon Hills, IL (www.hawthorn73.org)
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