I've gotten motivated to really try some exciting things in technology with my students this year. BlackBoard now offers us wikis and blogs. We've got five wikis going (teamwork discussion, books list, science research questions, "Math Curse" by Jon Scieszka exploration, and interesting websites) so far. In addition, each student has a blog. They'll use these to write about their reflections on their reading and respond to one another. I anticipate other uses of the blogs as well, but we'll start here.
The challenge is that there is no way for me to know quickly when any of these items have been updated. I want to monitor them to be sure that the content is appropriate and to ensure that students are not leaving comments for one another that are unacceptable. However, the RSS feed option is turned off because of security concerns. So, my only option is to look at each wiki and each blog and click on each individual page and set of comments. That's five wikis and twenty blogs. It starts to seem like it isn't worth my time after all.
I really want this to work. I love the idea that using the wikis allows for collaboration and discussions that can continue beyond our limited time at school. Writing on the blogs offers a more authentic experience and wider audience than simply writing for me. Any advice on how to do this without spending hours clicking the mouse?