Friday, July 07, 2006

Student Communities NECC06

10:00 am Friday NECC06
Creating Communities with Open Source Solutions
James Klein, Saugus Union SD - CA
submitted by: Sharon Betts, Educational Technology Coordinator Maine School Adminstrative District 52

We just launched a similar system for students to use as digital portfolios - Myeport. I am interested in comparing it with Jim Klein's tweaks to Elgg ( Earlier this year, I
investigated Elgg and found it to be unacceptable to the K-12 crowd. However, it looks like many of my concerns are being addressed in this new development. You can read an interview with Jim regarding his district's choice of Elgg on
My final open source formal session - I will go into withdrawal. Jim was part of our dinner last
night and I was very interested in the work he is doing to bring Elgg into the K12 realm.
After an introduction and background of Elgg and their criteria for the development. He immediately jumped into a demonstration of the present system. Announcements, blogs, wikis, electronic portfolios, student lockers - using social networking in a more restricted environment while leaving it open enough for learning and enjoyment. Jim is very interested in using Web 2.0 in ways that enhance and transform education, but allow students to be creative and inquisitive.

A more robust security system and unified login are just two of the enhancements that will make this final product very applicable to the K-12 environment. With a minimum of instruction, Jim put everyone into his working server and held a very intense hands-on session. He is an excellent instructor and the participants left with insight into this new product. This personal touch is what Elgg promotes for students. The people in the hall were all deeply interested and involved. There were so many hands on labs and workshops this year. Everyone learns better with personal involvement.

If you are interested in a more secure, educationally sound version of "My Space", check out what is happening at Saugus Union SD. and their installation of Elgg:

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