Seumas Hyslop (beardoc) wrote in lj_biz,
Seumas Hyslop

Unusual (and innovative) uses for LiveJournal

I thought that you guys might be interested in this, but I worked out a plan yesterday with a friend who is a lecturer at a university and has a class of about 30 computer-savvy students for whom he administers a "field study" program. Most of these students are in different areas, separated by distance, by the type of assignment they have to achieve and the type of site that they attend. However, he's looking for some way to keep them informed of of class announcements, but he also needs something where students can keep ongoing records of what happens in the field, like a logbook.

And here's the clincher - he wants the opportunity for students to be able to look at other students' records of what they are doing, so as to allow cross fertilisation of ideas, and allow students to comment on each others' work, and make suggestions.

I told him that I thought LiveJournal would be perfect for him.

I'm proposing that he starts a community for his class, but he is the only one that is permitted to post to it (for announcements). He will encourage all students to sign up and he will take a photo of each of them for their profile. Then he will require that they "watch" the community he's set up, so they will always get announcements through their friends page.

Then he will ask them to add as many of the rest of the class to add other students to add each other to their friends list (ideally add all other students to their friends list). Then, as they keep their journals of what they have been doing in the field, their "friends" page will become the link to everyone else. And the messageboards function will allow students to comment on each other's work.

I think this is an exciting use of LiveJournal as a "groupware" style application. My friend is evaluating the system in a personal journal at the moment, but if he thinks this might work, I will write the documentation for how to get the students started, what they need to do and how it will work.

If it works well, I'd also like to write a "case study" on the group. Would this be of interest to anyone if I were to write it? Should I send it to anyone in particular?

Anyway, was just letting you guys know - being a LiveJournal evangelist I'm always looking for new ways to use this system!

Anyone have any thoughts on the project?

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