Overview Information About Our New Website
MabryOnline is our new web presence. The site is really a collection of nearly 100 blogs designed with a front end that appears to be a web page. We have done this in the hope that our staff will more easily be able to keep information on the site current. Posting to a blog is substantially easier than having a web master who knows a lot about html, xhtml, css, asp, js, and blah, blah, blah. We don't. And even if we did, then the webmaster has to track everyone down to get their information to post it.
So, what is a blog? The term is an abbreviation for weblog and can be most easily understood as an online journal. Teachers post journal entries (or posts) to their site (or blog). The teacher assigns each post to a category that s/he has already created. When the post is published on the site, it is automatically linked to the category (listed in the sidebar on the right), to the date it was posted (via a little calendar in the sidebar on the right), and also is placed in a monthly archive (which, you guessed it, is also listed by month in the sidebar on the right).
Finding information in a teachers site could not be any easier. To read everything that has been posted to this blog about the Film Festival, simply click on the name of that category in the sidebar on the right. To read everything related to the Beginning of the Year, click...you have the idea. You could also go to the archive links for July and August to read things that were posted in those months which might relate to the beginning of the year.
Aside from having a powerful organizational structure for content management, a blog also has a very powerful search feature. Each teacher's site (or blog) has a "Search this site:" area in the sidebar on the right side. Simply type in the string for which you wish to search, and the script will bring up everything in the teacher's site that matches your search parameter--powerful, fast access to content.
Every time the site is updated, the blogging system is programed to update the syndication files. You can setup an RSS/Atom feed reader to automatically notify you when new content has been posted to the site. Most feed readers provide you with a quick summary of the new information, which, if you find relevant to your need, can serve as a link to the entire post of new information.
We will find that RSS/Atom feed readers are going to have a huge impact on learning and research. Rather than going out to find current, relevant information, you can set up a RSS/Atom feed reader to have the most current information about a research topic come to you. Software is now coming available that will even automatically annotate in a bibliography the source from the major online libraries . This is cutting edge and very powerful! The digital divide between those who know information literacy skills and those who do not is going to grow exponentially in the next few years. And who thinks students do not need laptops?!
And don't miss the Calendar link that appears at the top of the "front end" pages. We will keep it current with important school-wide or grade-level wide information such as testing dates, picture days, holidays, early dismissal days, etc. You can read more about how to subscribe to this calendar (Mac users only) and how to view the online version of the calendar (Mac and Windows users) by clicking here.
Hopefully you will find our new site helpful. Visit us often.
Articles on the Wikipedia:
Other Excellent Resources
What's RSS and Why Should I Care About It?
Great, Easy-to-Read, General Overview of Blogging & RSS
More Detailed and More Comprehensive Information about RSS
Dr. Tyson's Instructions for Setting Up Mabry RSS Feeds at home and work
And, if you don't know about Wikipedia and Wikis, you need to check this out!
Free Browser (for Windows and Macs) with RSS feed implementation: Firefox
Posted by Dr. Tyson