What is the best way to address this issue: class webpage or blog?

In preparation for the upcoming SY 2009-2010, I would like to find out which would you introduce first to to the teachers especially since most of them aren't pro-technology. All this time, each class webpage is submitted to the Webmaster (in MS Word format) and it gets posted in the school website on a monthly basis. That makes the page very static.

We now decided that creating a dynamic class webpage will enhance parent-teacher communications through blogging. Something that the teachers themselves can update on a weekly basis at least. Most likely we will go with Edublogs. But how about posting the class rules/policies, supplies, etc. - would a class webpage be more appropriate? Since budget is a concern, I thought that maybe using class webpage on Scholastic.com since it is free. With that, the teachers can create a menubar on the page. Wondering if that too can be done on blogs?

How would you go about this dilemma? I appreciate all your replies.

Tags: Blogging, Class, Webpage

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Wordpress can do static pages with a menu bar. I don't know about Edublogs though. I definitely think teaching them to do blogs is the way to go. It is much easier to learn/update and they look professional.

Maybe I'm just too much of a geek but the way many teacher homepages look makes me cringe. They are the most often very unprofessional looking. The color schemes are a mess, menus are disorganized, clip art is everywhere, etc. Working with blogs and their pre-made templates avoids much of this.
I agree, class websites can look jumbled, and once they are visited a few times, there is no reason to look again.
Edublogs, like Wordpress, has a menu bar on top of each blog so you can have somewhat static pages for class schedules, routines, homework, internet guidelines, etc. It really combines the benefits of a static class webpage with the discussion aspect of a blog.
I am actually going to have both, a website and blog. I will cross-link both so whichever THEY prefer, they can still find the other. A little redundant, but i look at it this way: What's a little copying and pasting to make sure those who like blogs can get their RSS feeds, and the ones who like to bookmark stuff can also do that.

Yola sites offers blogs within sites. Might be something worth looking into...
Lauriene,
I loved your links and am checking them out now. I use a website, blogs and portal community. Each one has its own merit. The current trend is to try to integrate all the different sites together. For example, I linked my flickr pics to my blogs, I post my photo and video galleries to my blogs and vary individual discussion forum participation on the portal with blog participation (groups of 6 with a blog leader). It is a lot but I love playing with all the buttons. What are you doing this year?
Patti
Many teachers now have a webpage with a blog or wiki. Some just have wikis. http://pbworks.com or http://wikispaces.com. I have a blog and Blackboard. Parents access Blackboard as guests. One of the menu buttons on Blackboard is to my blog. Googlesites is a pretty easy webpage to manage. Weebly has a variety of templates but can get some technical quirks that I don't like.
Hi,
You can use Forkie.com for free for your entire school (every class) and it provides a school website, as well as each individual class website.
http://www.forkie.com/why/education.html
It also allows parents to join your class group, engaging them in the learning process with class events, news and
messages.
Cheers, Jason.
Just enrolled in Edublogs after using Wordpress for a Blog Project. It is much better for schools in terms of admin.
Check out Technology in the Classroom by PattiMcSee on Edublog - just created it today.
Thinking of starting a ning site..stuck on the name. I want something that ends in ning...like itechspin.ning.com or something cool. Probably already taken. Will keep you posted.
Et voila! Techspin.ning.com = Swirling, Whirling, Twirling Techies - join me on ning!
There is a third option, Lauriene. You could set up a wikispace account and invite your students there. It allows for the blogging, as well as file sharing, etc. I use it with my Middle School Outreach students, many of whom are not on site all the time.
In a nutshell:
* Use a wiki if lots of teachers and lots of students need to post information.
* Use a blog if one teacher or one student needs to post information
* Use Google Sites for individual teacher pages.

All three of these tools overlap in one or more areas. Each one could probably accomplish what you need to do.

At my school we are using a wiki as a simple online learning portal (kind of like a stripped down version of Moodle) for posting quizzes, student reports, and threaded discussions. It's much more flexible than a blog. We have a school-wide wiki divided up into elementary, middle, and high school. Each teacher has the option of creating a section for their own class.

We do have a couple of teacher using blogs. Each student has their own and posts weekly. For regular posting by a single individual I would go the blog route.

The third option which has elements of both blogs and wikis-- a Google Site. Google sites makes creating a web page very simple and they look great! Sites are easily updated, accept widgets and apps, and have a threaded discussion feature (not as good as the Wiki though). Sites integrates Google's other products seamlessly (Docs, Maps, YouTube). For teacher class pages, I would recommend Google Sites. Here's a sample.

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