Mike Caulfield’s post “Enterprise Learning Systems Considered Harmful to Learning” reminds me of some important questions that still remain unsettled with me. Why am I such a big advocate for a WordPress Mulit-User installation at UMW? I do believe that blogs can be an out-of-the-box e-portfolio solution. I also believe that WPMU builds in some interesting possibilities for aggregation, tagging, and cross-pollinating ideas for a particular community. Yet, despite these advantages, potential disadvantages such as becoming application specific and making a personal learning environment that is fostered by and hosted through the university are important for us to hear right now because we are currently working on taking WPMU to the next level (one step closer to enterprise) for our university.
The question Mike is posing here (and which Jerry and Martha ask often) of whether or not we should host enterprise solutions (blogging or otherwise) still needles me on occasion when I read a post like this. Almost as if I am convinced that everyone will, and should feel the same way about WordPress as I do. When I notice someone using a Moveable Type or blogger blog I find myself scoffing at them, and do far worse for anyone who has chosen the bloated blog system of Drupal to publish their thoughts. In general I pity their lack of vision. This might all be part of the psychology of fanboys, but regardless it is getting pretty bad -I barely recognize myself anymore.
So here is an important, if rare, interlude for reflection. Do we need to create this space for students? Do we need to provide their “spiral notebooks” for them? Why not simply let them sign-up for their own blog at WordPress.com, blogger, or some other service, and concentrate our efforts on hacking the space for aggregating these variegated resources and devising ways to use these tools in courses more effectively?
Well, in short, here’s your answer: I secretly want a community in training of homogeneous WordPressers who will go on after their four year indoctrination to use this tool to take over the world! (I bet you all thought I was ready to capitulate -NEVER!)
But in all seriousness, can you think of some major disadvantages to providing a Mutli-User blogging service through the auspices of a University -even if it is hosted for 6.95 a month?