Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Evolution of the "Class Website"

A few of the teachers at my school are planning on rebuilding their "class website" throughout the upcoming summer in preparation for our student laptop learning program. I created this little sketch to outline how instructional websites have changed over the past 10 years. To me the biggest difference is who can  contribute. In 2000 the class website was pretty much driven and managed by the teacher. In 2010  both the teacher AND students have the capacity to serve as curators of the site. 

I'm hopeful that this proves to be a simple little graphic to help folks along as they plan out the different components and parts they'd like to build into their online learning spaces.

Click the image for a larger view:


  1. Is Moodle keeping up with this shift? What platform do you run that allows students to be full site curators?

  2. Richard, I don't necessarily think it is...Moodle 2 still seems to be provide an institutional-centric model of online instruction. The blogging engine in Moodle 2 seems like it might provide more opportunities for students to contribute work, but at the course level the teacher is still at the center in terms of creating forums and other activities for the students to engage with.

    Moodle and other VLEs are nice things to have one foot in while the other is out...I would never want to be in a situation where all teachers were required to use it.

  3. What do you see as good options for fully interactive sites? I've been struggling to find a platform for a new school library site - Moodle works for some things but I want large portions to be public; a blog site is an option. I know Casti uses Drupal which I've played with but there's a steep learning curve there.

  4. Cathy,
    At this point we're fairly satisfied with using a mashup of Google Apps (sites, docs, etc) and Moodle as our interactive, digital learning environment. Moodle definitely is institution/teacher-centric and directed, but it does offer a decent degree of interactivity. Moodle 2.0 promises more interactivity with better blogging and the ability to comment on most every type of resource, including web pages I believe.

    We're excited about the recent news from Google that they'll be adding iGoogle, Blogger, etc to their apps network. These additional tools and spaces will greatly deepen the interactivity of our virtual learning platform.