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Re: [K12OSN] Teacher Forums



On Mon, 2004-12-06 at 06:12, Rob Owens wrote:

> A teacher who only wants to check in once a week or once
> a month will probably be quite unhappy with 100's of emails
> in his inbox which he doesn't have time and/or interest to
> read.  A bbs would be a better choice for this person.

This type of access doesn't promote useful dialog.  Do you want
to wait a week before someone sees your question?  If you aren't
going to participate, browsing the archives of a mailing list
works as well or better than a bbs-style forum.  It isn't
as pretty with the colored backgrounds and emoticons and all,
but faster and easier to search. 

> I have all my K12 emails routed to a special folder in my email
> client, but a true novice might see this as an extra and possibly
> confusing step. 

I'm not sure how much a raw discussion in either a bbs or mail
list will help a 'true novice' unless they happen to have exactly
the same issue at the same time it is discussed, because they
won't be able to search old material or sort the right answers
from the misleading ones.  What you really need are a few people
with some talent at organizing material to maintain a wiki with
the parts of the discussion results that are worth keeping.
However, there is a much bigger barrier to participation in
a wiki than a forum or mail list.  It would be nice if there
were something to tie them together a little more closely so
your first experience would be to view the wiki but there
would be an obvious place to post questions and track the
answers without having to do a lot of extra steps in between
or having your mailbox swamped with unrelated issues.

By the way, if someone does a live comparison between email
and bbs based forums, I'd consider it a sign of success of
a participant joined other similar but differently-focused
forums.  Others might consider that a failure of that specific
forum. 

---
  Les Mikesell
   les futuresource com



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