Reason #321 I will probably not pursue a PhD in my lifetime. I struggle with academic writing. I spend hours writing paragraphs. I come up with what I think are great ideas, but then fight to clearly articulate them. In the end I am usually satisfied, but for me that process is deadly.
Anyway, I have been slaving over the article I am writing with one of my former MA professors on knowledge management for teachers. After looking at everyone’s comments from a couple posts ago (Thanks, they were very helpful!) and reading some of the popular and academic literature available, I have developed the following criteria for a knowledge management system. (Numbers 1-6 are for a personal system and 7-10 are necessary for a collaborative system).
A KMS must have
- The ability to store multiple types of resources.
- The ability to easily revise descriptions and artifacts in addition to storing multiple versions of a specific artifact.
- The ability to add annotations and comments beyond the descriptions.
- The ability to categorize and tag all entries.
- A simple interface to input and upload information.
- A simple interface to search by category and tag.
- Individual logins for each participant.
- Safeguards so artifacts aren’t mistakenly deleted by another user.
- The ability for participants to comment and annotate artifacts from different users.
- The ability for participants to track recent additions and changes.
I’m feeling pretty good about this (and have spent way too much time on it), but, if you are a teacher and you have a suggestion or comment, please leave it. We are working on a final draft this week.
Unfortunately this article is only a discussion of ideas with a couple possible solutions. There is no silver bullet for teachers out there. I’ve looked at the most popular content management systems and it doesn’t seem like they could be easily adapted. The best solution I can come up with is a blog. WordPress or Moveable Type (personal license is free, but if you want more then one author you have to pay) fit the list of criteria nicely. I would love to build my own system from scratch, but, unfortunately, I am only a geek – not a supergeek programming guy. Anybody know a guy (or gal) who is and has extra time on their hands? It could be a great project, there is probably demand, from what I understand, there are a few teachers out there.
Once this article is done, I can start working again on my NECC presentation. They placed me in an insanely big room. So please come if interested, there will no doubt be seats!