My administrator has asked be to deliver a workshop on teacher websites. After thinking on the topic, given my allowed time (two hours or less) I believe it would be more effective to discuss why a teacher should create and maintain a site or what a site could do for them. I maintain an active site and regularly use it for instruction, but not everyone will use it the same way.
If you use a site, how do you use it? What is the benefit? What is the draw back? What platform do you use? What do you call it: classroom site, classroom companion site, a teacher website..? Do you have any thoughts? Please link to your site, I could use examples for all grade levels.
I teach in the UK (age 11 to 18); at school we use Moodle so all departments can upload resources for their students to use.
Personally I use a blog (WordPress) to post homework details and messages for the classes that I teach - that means none of my students can say to me that they don't know what their homework is! I have several blogs - these are for sharing information with staff or students.
If I want an online space for a class to collaborate then I'd use a wiki - I have used Wikispaces. Students seem to feel more ownership with a wiki than Moodle and it's very easy to learn to use.
I regularly use a site ... well a blog with each of my levels. I use it to:
- post homework assignements and a summary of what we have done in class.
- I also include the video we watch every class and a kind of handout of grammar topics covered.
- Each time I need to include a poster in the class I also include it in the blog AND I use show it from there.
- The blog is always there as background on the screen.
- I included a section called "Extra practice" / "Review for xx test" where I post exercises to be done as homework or as a whole class activity where everybody looks at the screen and suggests the answer.
- I also include photos and the students´own porductions, such as videos or comic strips, etc.
These are some of my blogs
Last year we attempted using moodle at gnomio. For me the experience was kind of frustrating because students wouldn´t use it at all. It was a lot of time devoted to learning how to use it, creating material, etc. and they didn´t like it. May be because we don´t have one PC per student in our classrooms to work with it during class time and they saw it as something EXTRA or as more HOMWORK.