Ten Reasons Why: Student Publishing and Privacy, Take Two In the past week or so several folks (James Farmer, Will Richardson, Greg Ritter) have been talking about the use of weblogs with students and the publishing of student work. Legal issues revolving around COPPA and FERPA are being discussed along with pedagogical issues.
I have been thinking of this as I work with Barbara Lüscher at Buckman Elementary and plan for the use of weblogs with her and her 5th grade students this coming fall. Am thinking that we will want to have students publish two sites. One public, and one behind a login. The public site could be for final published pieces. Pieces the student chooses to share with the public . The private site can be the site where comments are enabled to facilitate peer review, and places for drafts to be saved. Am trying to figure out how to do this in Movable Type. With the creation of an alternate index template in Movable Type, and the use of category tags, I should be able to create two sites with one blog.
One problem I haven't figured out is how to save the alternate index file into a private directory, or make it only readable behind a login. I believe LiveJournal has a feature like this. Regular posts are published to the public site, but special "friends only" posts can be enabled that only "friends" can view. Something like this in a weblogging tool would be very nice to have. Some way to designate public and private posts. Maybe I'll post something up on the LazyWeb site.
Update: Tom Hoffman adds some more to the discussion. Looks like Plone might be the tool I am looking for... Also just discovered that Movable Type will do what I want it to do. Just did a little experiment. I created two index files, one gets saved in the regular directory, one in the private directory. With a little bit of work using category tags, I should be able to create two templates. One with all of a student's posts (the private area) and one with items in the category that is published to the public site. But I still have to mess with file permissions...