An open letter to Mark, a teacher.

I just wrote this letter to a teacher on Ning and I thought I would share it here.


I'm looking for Beta testers for web application I'm working on located at I've singled you out because you're obviously trying to start a education focused community here and I think christonium is an ideal solution for long term education development and personal monitoring. I'll briefly describe how a student can use christonium to create a permanent record of their progress and work for themselves.

Christonium allows users to create and organize content in any way they choose. Along with this ability to create is the ability to control who, when, and how the content is viewed. Let's say I write an essay on crickets for my Freshman Biology class. Using existing web technologies I can easily upload this paper to my email, or blog, but I can't organize it to find it later. Christonium solves this problem by allowing users to setup unique and dynamic category structures. In this case we'll say I've got a top level category called "Corvallis High." Under "Corvallis High" I'll create a category called "Freshman," and under "Freshman" I'll create "Fall Term." Under fall term I'll place all my fall term classes which include "Biology." I can break biology down into more categories as well, but we'll stop there. The final step, after I've created my categorization structure, is to upload the paper into the proper category.

It should be pretty clear that christonium, in some ways, is like an online portfolio. That's a good way of looking at it, but it implies that whatever you upload is open for anyone to see, which we both know isn't ideal for a student who probably doesn't want his 9th grade biology paper all over the web for the rest of his life. To solve this problem christonium has set itself up as a privacy oriented network. Any category set to private is not visible to anyone except the specific people allowed to view the category. Further, users are protected from search engine and spider caching, so copies of any uploaded content are not randomly distributed throughout the world.

There's a lot more to than I have shared with you here but this letter is already far longer than I had intended to make it. Hopefully you'll take it as it was intended, in a spirit of collaboration. Please feel free to contact me any time with questions or comments.


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