As I sit here at the airport I have been thinking.
Should schools be using a document management system. If your school is like mine, all documents sit on a shared network share, here there are files of all types and descriptions. From Policy documents, to student assessment data, photos of teams away at tournaments, faculty documents, it is a mismash of data, trying to find anything is using the windows desktop search box at the top and sometimes that isn't very helpful.
I was introduced to document management systems years ago by my brother who has to manage his business one. With document review, check in and check out of documents it sounded like a pain of a job. But he was able to find documents easy.
So why are schools not using document management systems, it is easy to drag and drop a document into a network share that upload the file. However with modern browsers it is a simple a dragging a document in and providing some metadata about what the document is, why it has been created, and who it is for.
Alfesco document management is open source, this is a win, as previous systems have been costly to implement and setup, yet another reason why schools haven't been willing to set this up.
http://www.alfresco.com/tour shows a good workflow and the ability for multiple document types to be used, no matter what you create you can easily share it with others even if they don't have that software on their computer.
When we start talking about services under the N4L, the National Network for Learning, should we not be looking at document management. I look at this and start thinking about the sharing nature of resources that can go on. However there is another issue that relates to who owns the work that you create. The Board of Trustees do. This needs to change. Schools need to look at a creative commons policy, that the work that teachers create as part of their work, can be shared.
With the Christchurch earthquake, some schools had issues getting access to servers, files, data. Would this be a way to help disaster recovery. I know that I am now syncing with dropbox some of my files as it gives me access anytime, anywhere, something that our LMS could possibly do with private files, but I like to work within the Explorer/Finder area as it gives me a better sense of file management and information.