Every now and then the frustrations all converge. After a couple of weeks of intermittent internet problems at school it is time to make a stand. Having setup all 116 student blogs, for the past 2 weeks we have had inexperienced enormous frustrations with accessing them. When more than 2-3 students attempted to logon to the WordPress based blogs, the internet connection across the whole lab slowed to a crawl, (indeed it has not been uncommon for a couple of the machines to actually time-out). Now our school has normally excellent broadband connection that goes very well. We have gone back through the internet logs and also checked multiple accessing of other similar sites and there doesn’t appear to be any reason at our end why we should be having such a large dropout of internet accessibility. Our technician suggests that there is more likely to be a problem at the Globalstudent end so I have sent off an email to the person charged with responsibility for Globalstudent. Alas there does seem to be a problem at their end which we will just have to learn to live with.
At the same time I have alerted them to another issue of concern that one of my students, (a solid reliable one thank goodness), came in to me today to inform me that he had set up his own new Globalstudent blog of which he was the Administrator, without and action or assistance from me or any other teacher. It seems that he had tried to open his personal school based blog but got the URL incorrect. As a result he was defaulted to the globalstudent signup page where he simply entered his details to set up his own new blog. Though I know that globalstudent want to make things as easy as possible, I am not too sure that we wanted students to be able to set up their own blogs in this way. I guess that any other WordPress multi-user based blogging service may well experience the same ‘back door’ opening.
The third issue is that even though I have, (as far as I can tell), all of the settings right to be notified when new comments are being held on the 50+ blogs that I am administering, these messages are not being forwarded to me. The Comments are being held in the moderation queue though which is fine. The problem is that instead of me being told they are there, I have to go to check each blog individually which is not quite as efficient.
On the Comment front too, one of our student blogs had a strange, though not malicious thankfully, comment added to her moderation queue. This was despite having the Challenge question set to an answer that ostensibly only our school families knew the answer, (the question is “What is the colour of our hat?” with the answer being “colour one and colour two“). Now the commentator, an African animal activist Blogger blogger who has had his blogs questioned, may have just lucked in but it was fortunate that she was wise to the potential problem and let us know.
Overall a few slightly annoying complications I would rather not have to deal with.