BAM (blog aggregation management) is a tool used by a number of CQU courses. It’s mainly used to help staff observe and mark individual student reflective journals. The journals are hosted on freely available blogs that the students set up and then register with BAM. Normally, we advise students to use WordPress.com for their blog, but there’s now a small problem. Any suggestions?
The problem is that one of the students in one of the courses is currently studying from China. China has restricted access to english blog websites as part of its regulation of Internet access. The student has asked if it’s ok to submit reflections directly.
An obvious solution would be to use a blog engine from within China and register it with BAM. This should, theoretically, work fine from a technical perspective. However, the language issue might be interesting.
The problem is helping the student find such an engine (only a minority of students are familiar enough with the net/blogs to be able to solve this problem themselves, with ease). So, does anyone know of any blog engines within China the student could use?
Stepping back a bit more, there is also the question about whether or not this is the best solution for the student. One of the assumptions about the design of BAM is that there is value in having the student’s blogs freely available for others to see. In this context, does that value remain?
I have no idea about what it is like to live within China under the current Internet regulation. However, given some of the struggles I’ve seen my academic colleagues in Australia have with being open in their blogging, I can see how a student within China might be somewhat reluctant.