We’ve all been there before.
After investing time, money, and energy into a new web service, it suddenly closes its doors or goes from free to paid only. Or maybe your school will no longer be paying for the subscription.
Your options vary when this happens, and it all depends on how ‘export friendly‘ the tool or app is.
We feel strongly that student work should always be completed on a platform that allows the student to archive their work or take it with them. So, we reviewed many of the most popular services currently being used by students to publish to the web to see just how open and portable they really are.
Not Export Friendly
- Google Sites – There is the option to export a site as an html directory, but there is not an easy way to isolate user content.
- Kidblog – Since the new updates, we can’t find any evidence of an export or RSS feeds.
- Medium – The one on this list not often used by students, but its popularity deserves a mention. They will send you html files, but RSS feeds won’t contain all content.
- Seesaw – No evidence of any export tool or RSS feeds.
- Wix – The Wix support site makes it very clear that exporting is not possible. Unless you like copy/paste over and over again.
- Weebly – There is an RSS feed which can be imported to other tools, but it isn’t easy to use.
The following web publishing services all have the option to download an .xml file of content, or have an RSS feed that is easy to work with. This means that content can fairly easily be moved back and forth between them all.
- Edublogs / CampusPress
You should also consider data portability in all types of tools that you and your students use, not just for web publishing. At a minimum, the platform should make it easy to save work as a PDF, image, or in a format that some other application can open, too.
Remember Posterous and the panic caused when Twitter bought it and then shut it down? Services do come and go, and being prepared in case it happens is key. Even more important is teaching students that what they write is theirs to keep, to do with as they wish, and to provide them with the means to do so.