Designing A Website For Your Class
What's All the Hype?
It's apparent that there seems to be a rush for people to design a personal web page for all sorts of reasons. Educators are challenged more and more to create a web page to keep current with what's happening in the world of technology and teaching. If you check just about any school district, you'll see that at least two or three of their teachers have web pages. But is it worth the time? Is it difficult to create? Are there any risks involved? Most importantly, is it educationally beneficial?
A beginner, making a web page, will need to put in a minimal number of hours to develop a "simple" web site. But to create a "significant" web site, one that will ultimately benefit students, a great deal of thought and time is required. Like any effective teaching plan requiring time and resourcefulness, it is no different when you create a web site for your students to access. However, if you have an extensive, well organized plan, the computing part is easy and getting easier everyday.
A well-designed website will greatly enhance communication between you and your students. Students will feel more at ease knowing that they can contact you when school is not in session. One of the great benefits of a website is the increased communication between you and the parents of your students. This means of communication also allows parents an easy way to stay in contact > with school related issues.
In this tutorial, we will examine free services available to help you make a web page, the process of designing your own independent site, neat web design add-ons, creating a newsletter, what should your page should have, and sites that can help you get started.
What Should a Teacher Site Have on It?
1. Class Calendar
2. Relevant links for students to learn more about content. Also, for you to learn more about the subject matter. For help in this area, check our Teachers' "Subject Matter" Section.
3. Links that make your subject more fun- For help, check our Teachers' "Sites To Use With Students" Section.
4. Contact Information- This can include ways that students or parents can contact you. However, you may not want to include your home phone or any personal information. There are ways to set-up a separate e-mail account just for your professional use. You can do that by clicking here.
5. Materials- Anything important that you hand out in class can be posted on-line.
6. Class Rules and Guidelines- In this section, you can explain what materials your students need for your class and any other consistent information that students > need to be successful in your class.
7. Homework- Posting of assignments helps to keep students on track. This section can also offer students help with any assignments. This section can also be a depository for what students need to accomplish and a reminder of what needs to be done.
8. Biography- Tell students about your academic and professional background. You can also include interests, accomplishments, etc.
9. Course Description- Explain what students will be learning, goals, objectives, procedures that will be used in teaching and learning, timelines, etc.
10. Your Most Favorite Sites- Share the educational sites or student-centered sites that you visit the most.
11. Information for Parents- This is information you want parents to know that can help you to acheive educational goals. It is a great way to get parents actively involved in a partnership role.
12. Announcements/Events- This is an efficient method of communicating anything that needs to be publicized.
13. Links to State or National Curriculum- This can supply curriculum information to parents. It also helps in developing credibility as a professional. Another important benefit is that you have this information available to you at any given time.
Adding Interactivity To Your Site
Across the Internet, there are a great number of sites that offer you free services that can greatly enhance your web site. The problem with a number of services is that some of these companies go out of business routinely and your website is left to suffer with a void. Some of these services include:
Create an interactive message board for your site in minutes. They offer the best available message board software around. They install it for you too!
Provides web publishers a simple way to make money with their web site. Add search box to your site and start making money. Users also get paid for searching.
3. - Commission Junction
Make money with your web site by posting advertising on your. It's not that difficult to do.Try it here cj.com
4. Any Browser-
See how your web site looks in any web browser.
5. Gif Works-
It's an online GIF image editor. This unique tool is completely on-line -- nothing to download or install. Better yet, it's ABSOLUTELY FREE -- no prepaid tokens or subscriptions.
Add a FREE search engine to your site up to 500 pages. It also gives you the ability to see watch visitors to your site are searching for.
The Bottom Line
Many educators develop a web site for the mere experience of creating one. However, if you take your time to develop a premier web site, it can directly and indirectly affect the quaility of your teaching. A well thought-out web site can teach your students by providing links to other pages that reinforce what they are learning in class. A web site can also be a valuable source of information by letting students know what they missed. The greatest quality of a web site is the increased communication between the teacher, students, and parents.
Designing for the web is no easy task, but if you put in the time you will soon discover that it doesn't require an engineering degree by any means.