- Creating and maintaining a classroom website/blog
- Digitizing your documentation and parent communication
- Parent/Student login information
So, to start us off:
Classroom Websites. A topic near and dear to my heart.
When I first started teaching, I spent hours pouring over sites like Ms. Winston's Class, Mrs. Madden's classroom site, and Mrs. Bainbridge's site. I followed all of their links and I started making checklists- what I wanted, what I didn't want, etc. in my own site.
When I first started teaching, I purchased a web template from Thistle Girl Designs and taught myself some basic coding. I am embarrassed to admit how much time I spent putting my little site together. It looked great, but it was really difficult to update and change. Unfortunately, it is saved on an external hard drive somewhere... alas...
Over the course of my first two years of teaching, I spent about $60.00 a year hosting my site, at about $5.00 a month, and then, I paid for a custom domain. All of this was out of pocket... but I loved my little site.
Eventually, when year #3 started, I wanted something that was easier to update and I didn't want to pay to host it anymore, so I switched to a Google site:
In addition to maintaining a Google Site for "static" information for parents, I also maintained a Blogger blog with information that needed to be updated regularly- things like spelling lists, homework links, weekly objectives, etc.
The Google site was fine, but I found that they all had the same look and I didn't really find their editing system to be very intuitive, so you guessed it, I switched again. This time, to a Weebly site.
So far, I have found Weebly to be very easy to use, modify, manage and update. The templates and themes are visually attractive and their drag-and-drop system for setting up pages could not be easier. If you are on the fence about a classroom website, start with Weebly!
So, as you think about your classroom website, consider a few things:
- How frequently do you plan to update it?
- What kind of information will you be posting?
- What tools are you currently using in your classroom?
- Who is your primary audience- parents, students, both?
- Will you be uploading documents and storing them on the site?
Each website platform has its advantages and disadvantages, but some of the popular platforms for classroom blogs include:
- Blogger blogs
- Google Sites
- Weebly Sites
- Teacher Web Sites
Over the next few days, I will be talking about some of the content you may want to consider including and widgets that will make your life easier.
Do you have a classroom blog or website? Which platform do you use and why? Leave it in the comments!