The forgotten world of SLA Talk

By Jenn Wright
Staff Writer
One-fourth of the students at SLA have never heard of it. The other three-fourths knows about it but maybe didn’t frequent it often. Others posted on it with ease.For those who don’t know about SLA Talk, it was the open forum for students to post on the “old” Moodle that served a variety of purposes. The space was created because, as Mr. Lehmann put it, “I felt it was important because it was a space to talk.”The first topic ever posted on SLA Talk was called “SLA in the news”. It was simply a link to a story from The Inquirer about SLA. A few topics later the then-freshman class of 2010 was discussing the potential of a school song. More topics followed. It became a space to talk about anything. “It was a combo of silly and fun and all the rest of it,” Lehmann said.

SLA Talk truly served as a space where the students could sound off about what was on their mind. If someone lost something, look on SLA Talk. Students were always finding and putting out wanted ads for their lost items via SLA Talk. Is there a snow day? Check SLA Talk and dispiritedly find just the delayed schedule. One of the most popular threads was “This or That” with 1626 replies–coke or pepsi? soccer or baseball?

This kind of online space might seem unusual at a high school, but Lehmann doesn’t think so. “I think it gives kids a place to talk in a non formal way,” he said. “I think that’s really important. Kids need to be able to that.” Whereas some schools host this kind of forum on facebook, at SLA it made sense to do it in-house.

SLA Talk could stir up controversy. Politics and beliefs came up once in a while. A bold student would post something bound to attract replies. SLA Talk was mainly self policed because every ones name was attached to their posts as opposed to other public forums on the Internets.  “It sorta brought the community together,” says junior Breeanna Noi.

In the last two years, it was used more for announcements and some discussion. It had a professional side, too. Involved students used it as a broadcasting tool. “I used it to spread the word about GSA and interviews,” explained junior Max Marton.

So, where is SLA Talk now? The old one still lives in a space accessible to teachers, so the infamous “Overheard in SLA” forum is not lost forever. And the future of SLA Talk looks good. It’s currently a click-able course on Moodle 2.0 but students cannot post topics– for now. “It is coming back,” Lehmann said. “We’ve kept it down a little bit, getting it completely tweaked well for Moodle 2.0.”

Hopefully, the new SLA Talk will rival the old.

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