About three months ago Susan Carter Morgan sent me a message inquiring about the work we are doing with UMW Blogs. She’s an Instructional Technology Coordinator and English teacher locally at the Fredericksburg Academy, and was pretty interested in bringing something like UMW Blogs to her K-12 institution. We talked briefly back and forth via email about the details, and then a couple of weeks later set up a meeting here at UMW with a few interested teachers and her school’s principal. Less than two weeks after that meeting Susan got a Bluehost account, grabbed a domain, and setup a full-blown publishing platform using WPMu for her school at the low, low cost of under $200. Over the course of a gestation period of only a few weeks Fredericksburg Academy Blogs was born. We shared some plugins, themes, and the like with them, but Susan took the installation and ran with it. And the fruits of her vision are pretty impressive, I looked in on the FA Blogs sitewide feed the other day and I have 231 unread posts!
Wow, imagine that, an elegant, open educational publishing platform for K-12 that is nurtured and supported by a forward-looking technologist, some awesome teachers, and a supportive administration. That’s what it’s all about, and while doing this stuff is not necessarily dependent on all these factors aligning—for that is rare, indeed— it sure is nice to see teaching and learning with technologies blossom when they do!
Bully for Fredericksburg Academy for opting for a fast, cheap, and out-of-control appraoch to teaching and learning technologies that basically tells your students that you don’t hate them or distrust them, but rather are intent on giving them an open space to make their voices heard. Sometimes a little local sharing goes a long way!