Apparently some adjuncts teaching CMPT-109 are telling students to create their web pages on Geocities. I’m sorry, but WTF? I didn’t even know that geocities even existed. Sure, they were a big contender back in the midst of .com boom, when the web was free. Anyone remember crosswinds.net in their heyday? Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth for the low price of $0 per month. Eh, those were the good old days.
It’s almost as if the teacher googled “free hosting” and went with whatever came up first, without doing any other research, or, God forbid, asking any other adjunct what do they use when teaching HTML to the 109-crowd. Don’t we like, train these people anymore? Isn’t there a memo that we can send to the newjuncts that tells them about this kind of stuff.
Granted, the existence of MSU’s Novell NetStorage is kind of an open secret of OIT. It is not listed on the student resource page or on the faculty resource page. The only place where it’s existence is acknowledged are the 2 or 3 PDF files in the N-Z section on OIT documentation page. Chances are that unless someone tells you about it, you will never know that it is available to anyone with a NetId (students, faculty and staff alike).
NetStorage is really a perfect tool for anyone teaching 109. It allows any student to upload fair amount of data of any kind to their server using a bit clunky but functional web interface. And it allows you publish any of this data via pre-configured public folder which can be accessed from the outside as http://netdrive.montclair.edu/~yournetid. And your student’s “whole website about King Arthur and Arthurian Legends” won’t get deleted because of some silly TOS violation. This sure as hell beats Geocities.
I took a peek at the CMPT-109 Hub on Blackboard and the teachers’ guide mentions NetStorage only in passing. Maybe we should find a way to expose newjuncts to it a little bit better. Maybe it should be one of the major topics that we talk about to them, instead of just being an afterthought.
Because making your students host their projects at Geocities where they can and will be deleted at whim, is not the right way to go.
[tags]montclair, msu, netdrive, netstorage, novell, novell netstorage, geocities, cmpt 109, teaching html[/tags]