Jon Bounds spots a new teaching resource called The Social Media Classroom. It’s Drupal-based (which I, along with Jon, find offputting), but hosted installs are apparently “coming soon”. It’s…

“a free and open-source (Drupal-based) web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its own purposes — integrated forum, blog, comment, wiki, chat, social bookmarking, RSS, microblogging, widgets, and video commenting are the first set of tools. The Classroom also includes curricular material: syllabi, lesson plans, resource repositories, screencasts and videos.”

You could probably do almost all of this with WordPress and plugins, but then the setup time could be longer than a Social Media Classroom. It’ll be interesting to see a live demo (there’s just a quick screencast, at present), and to find out about the extent of integrated MP3/podcast hosting in a turnkey version. Podcasts are notably absent from the description.

All very nice — but education still has to wrestle with a significant number of people (staff and students alike) who appear to viscerally dislike computers and the open / wired / online world in general. They can usually do email, but even getting their head around the concept of a weblog seems to be alien territory to them. They’d probably fry their brains while looking at an all-you-can-eat buffet of social media like the Social Media Classroom.