The Face of Your Classroom
Creating an Online Presence
How do students, parents, and community members see your classroom? Do you have an online component for communicating with parents?
Creating an online presence is simple when you think about framing it in four simple ways. Your classroom's appearance to the online world, or the Face of Your Classroom, is about teachers providing an online way for students and parents to access information about their classroom.
We have divided the tools into four core areas. Consider using one of these tools for creating the "Face of your Classroom." The tools vary in complexity. Investigate the platform(s) that your district and ISD/RESA/RESD use for building an online presence. Go to your district or ISD webpage and check out the resources available for you. For example, do they offer an Edublogs or a PB Wiki package for teachers to use? Is your district providing you with an online publishing tool you would like to use?
There are currently four core opportunities available for teachers to use. These four include:
1. District Online Systems
Many school districts subscribe to a site service, which provides templates and a streamlined look and feel to the school site. Users quickly create a web presence using templates provided by the company. The company usually provides each teacher, club, or category with a sub domain name (URL) for the website based off of the original school site. Examples of this include SchoolCenter, EdLine, and FoxBright.
2. Blogs and Wikis
Blogs (which is a contraction of the term "Web log") have a web site feel and are maintained with regular entries. Common Blogs for educators include: EduBlogs, 21Publish, Blogmeister, and Live Journal.
Blogs are also very simple but differ from the others. Think of a blog like a daily journal. They are designed for teachers to add information on a regular basis. Teachers use blogs to post daily assignments, student writings, podcasts or links to resources.
View the video "Blogs in Plain English"
Wikis provide another option for a web presence, and also allow visitors to post content to the site if the owner grants permission. Two excellent Wiki sites include Wikispaces and PBWorks. Wikis allow the users to create and edit interlinked web pages. An advantage of a wiki is that visitors can post content where permission is granted. Wikis are powered by Wiki software and are often used to create collaborative websites.
View the video "Wikis in Plain English"
3. Classroom Management Systems
Class management systems are really an extension of a classroom and the most robust of all the options. However, they are a secure environment that requires an ID and password to gain access. Teachers have the ability to post documents, videos and tests online. Most class management systems are purchased by a district and offered to their teachers. Examples include Blackboard, Moodle, Angel, and Sakai among others.
4. Web Site Creators
Webpage creators like Weebly are the easiest way for a teacher to have a website. Weebly offers the ability to easily upload text, images, documents and web links and a site may include multiple pages and even an imbedded blog. Weebly is free and we will focus on it for this segment. Examples include Weebly or Google Sites.
For further information about courses, training, or ideas affiliated with this web site, please contact:
Dr. Jennifer Parker-Moore, Interactive Learning Consultant
Instructional Technology Department
Macomb Intermediate School District
Face of the Classroom by Macomb ISD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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