Blogging is becoming an increasing valuable tool in academic circles. Blackboard offers a built-in blog component that will fulfill most of your classrooms needs.
If you would like an academic blog independent of Blackboard, Academic Information Services can supply you with an installation of WordPress--a fully-featured blogging system which supports multiple users (and multiple user roles), comments (anonymous or not--at your discretion), and RSS syndication.
To say that Wikipedia often doesn't quite measure up to less "democratic" sources of scholarly information--like JSTOR, for instance--is a gross understatement. Sure, you don't want your students reading it, but you know they're doing it anyway.
If you can't beat them, shouldn't you join them? WMwikis is a controlled, legitimate online space for members of the College community to collaborate inside and outside of class, share ideas with one another and engage with the world beyond the College. It's maintained by Academic Information Services (AIS) in partnership with the School of Education. Anyone in William and Mary community is welcome to create a free site.
If you have any general questions regarding the use of wikis for your courses or research, the differences between Blackboard and WikiSpaces wikis, the best way to configure your wiki spaces, or if you require funding assistance for specific wiki-related needs, please contact your Academic Technology Specialist.
Interested in creating an official W&M web presence for yourself? Tribe Voices can help you do just that easily and we think you'll be very pleased with results. Our faculty and staff website are professional looking and equipped with lots of cool features, like a built in search box and Google Analytics.
Check it out and see what you think.