Monday, September 3, 2012

Essential Tool: Teacher Websites

I am a firm believer that teachers need their own website for their class. Our students practically live on the webs, so why not provide them with a website from your class? They will visit your site, as long as there is something on there, and I'm not just talking about your lesson plans. Students love going on teacher websites, so let's give them some! Now, I am not talking about the state web space that we all have. The state space, that many teachers use, doesn't have much space and is not user friendly when it comes to producing an effective tech tool. 

Reasons NOT to use the state web space:
 --Not much space. Mine filled up very quickly. You need space in order to create a dynamic website that can really help and that kids want to go to. 
--NOT user-friendly. The state space makes things difficult and awkward to do anything.
 --Frontpage is annoying. How many of us have frontpage at home? Not many, would be my guess. So, with the state space and frontpage, the only place to work on the site is at home. NOT convenient.
 --No Interaction. It's just a website and unlike blogger or word press, students have no way of interacting with the site with their own thoughts/ideas. 

 I believe we must get away from the state web space and create our own site with blogger, wordpress, weebly, wix, or many others. These are all free website making machines. I use blogger and believe it is the best but perhaps you will find one that you think is better. Yes, making these websites take time, but the impact they can have on your classes is enormous.
Creating a website with these other options gives us many advantages: 

1. total freedom. 
2. Unlimited space. 
3. Work on them from anywhere in the world that has internet.
4. Create interactive assignments, review tools, learning tools, sharing, and collaborate. 
5. Gives students the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts. (blogging comments). 
6. Gives you another way of connecting with your students and getting them excited about your class.
7. Gives students a place to go for anything and everything about your class. They want this. 

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