Xserve Organization

Questions provided to district IT Director:
I have asked a colleague in New Hampshire to share their "instructions" for using Xserves for portfolio storage. Here is the website shared with me: http://classinfo.mansd.org/folio/index.htm -- They are not using Leopard Server, so they are just using the Tiger Server software for storing student files.

From their website:
Data Structure:
Every student has two folders on their server a Student folder and a Portfolio folder.
    * Student folders are for storing works in progress and the data in these folders will be deleted on August 1st every year
    * Portfolio folders are for storing finished student work and the data will not be erased while a student is enrolled in one of our schools

First, some basic principles:
  • Students must have a space to store their portfolios NOT on the individual computers (either the laptop labs in the elementary schools or the student laptops in the secondary schools). The data structure used in New Hampshire would also work here: a working folder for holding works in progress, and a more permanent Portfolio folder to store the student artifacts. (I'm not sure you would need to erase the student files each summer... only when they leave the school.)
  • Teachers need to be able to access each student's Portfolio folder (not necessarily their Student (Working) folders)
  • Students choose which pieces of work will be stored in the Portfolio folder, with guidance from the teachers.
There are three levels of developing e-portfolios, as outlined in our plan. At the first level (ePortfolio as Storage) the students would just use the two folders identified above. When teachers and students want to move to the next two levels, we want to be able to use the blog and wiki built into the Leopard Server.

Here is how we want to use the features of the Leopard Server:
  • A blog can be created by each student and would be used to reflect on their learning (in the reverse-chronological order of the blog). This is a Level 2 e-portfolio (the ePortfolio as Workspace), where students reflect on their learning over time, and attach digital copies of their work, where appropriate. Teachers and other students can provide feedback on the reflection+work through the commenting feature of the blog.
    I know that files can be attached to a blog entry. I have questions for Apple: When a student attaches a file to a blog entry, is it stored in their server Files/Portfolio folder? As a student creates a blog entry, could he/she create a link to a document already stored in their Portfolio folder? In other words, is there a relationship between the blog and the file storage on the XServe?  If we could avoid duplication of files uploaded, that would be great.
  • A wiki can be used to create a website (organized thematically) to structure a Level 3 e-portfolio (the ePortfolio as Showcase). The portfolio's organization would be around a set of outcomes, as outlined in the 9-12 plan. In some schools, the students would use a web authoring program (such as Dreamweaver or iWeb) to organize their work (so they wouldn't use the wiki... just a space to store their websites). Others may want to use the Leopard wiki to create their website. So, the questions I have for Apple: I understand that there needs to be a special setting to set up a wiki for each individual user... that the wiki is really a group document, which might work for each class in elementary school. What is involved in giving each student their own wiki? Also, if a student uses iWeb or Dreamweaver to produce an HTML-based portfolio, how is that website uploaded and stored on the Leopard Server? How could the HTML portfolio stored on the xServe be viewed through a web browser?
Students need to be able to back up their files from the Xserve to a CD or DVD (if they had access to optical media burning) when they leave the school.

We also need to create a set of instructions for logging into the Xserves in each community. The New Hampshire website provided two examples for Mac OS X and Windows:
We also need instructions written for how to log in and use the Leopard Server blog and wiki.