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Teacher Debate, Consistency or Multiformity?

CC Image - Weebly
We have incorporated a new web site built upon the Word Press platform at our school. We have changed web publishing platforms at least three times in the past several years, and this understandably leaves our teachers hesitant about learning another publishing tool. We became a "GAFE" (Google Apps for Education) district two months ago, and we have adopted Schoology as our learning management system. Did I mention that we are also expanding our 1:1 iPad program

These recent changes helped convince our teachers to choose one of three recommendations for creating their classroom web pages.

  1. Create a classroom web site in Google Sites
  2. Create a classroom web site with Blogger
  3. Create a classroom site using Schoology's blog, and profile builder.
These options are fairly intuitive, as well as, supportive of our existing web structures. It wasn't long after we set up training opportunities for these options, that Weebly announced it's attractive 2.0 update. A few of our teachers, including Trailblazer Tom, were already using Weebly with their students, and shared these complimentary recommendations with the rest of our staff. "Weebly is easy to use, supports multiple platforms, and produces clean, striking, results."


Sean (Fish), an innovative science teacher, and also one of our Technology Trailblazers, asked, "Why are you recommending another web publishing tool? Shouldn't we be pushing for consistency with our users?"

His question is certainly worth considering. With so many new initiatives impacting our teachers' professional responsibilities, maybe consistency is a better option than offering multiple paths towards the same outcome. Is it more efficient to have a singular focus to support? Is the learning of skills and content more focused when there is only one tech tool to use?

My stance is based on the premise that it doesn't matter what teachers or students use to publish their class websites as long as it is compatible with our web structure, is device independent, and is an effective communication appliance. Let the learner decide which tool best supports their learning and their objective.

So, with seemingly sound arguments being shared on both sides, it's your opportunity to turn this debate into a full-blown conversation. What do you think?

With respects to instructional technologies, is consistency or multiformity better for teachers and students?

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