Don’t Teach Students to Use Geocities

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 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 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]

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8 Responses to Don’t Teach Students to Use Geocities

  1. Miloš UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    NetDrive/NetStorage is a great tool available to students. It does need improvements in the implementation, available disk space and definitely advertisement, but it’s something all MSU staff/faculty/students should use.

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  2. heh, geocitys…
    Anyone remember homestead?

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Miloš – I only wish one could connect to it via ftp/sftp/scp or something like that. That web interface is horrid to use for anything larger than 2 or 3 static HTML pages. Is that even possible? The OIT documentation doesn’t mention anything that would suggest this functionality.

    @Travis – oh, and tripod! I used to have a website on tripod back in the day. :)

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  4. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    This is weird.. every so often when I first load a page from your RSS into Newsfox the text is all green on a black background, if I tell it to load the whole page (not just the automatically loaded text from the main post) it fixes it all, and then it works again if I just load the main text and not the rest of the page.

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  5. Miloš UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I map the drive and SFTP to it all the time…use netdrive as DNS and you should be good to go.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hey, it worked. Weird. Last few times I tried from work it wouldn’t let me do it.

    Go figure.

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  7. Mark CANADA Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    No way, the new Geocities is ClutterMe.

    Mark from ClutterMe

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