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Teacher Websites

Many teachers create websites for their students. Typically their goals are to enhance their students' learning and to improve communication with students and parents. I would like to encourage you to also consider using your website as a place to publish (or make public) outstanding student work--something that surprisingly few teacher or school sites feature, interestingly enough.

Here are a couple of examples of websites created by preservice and practicing teachers. Spend some time taking a good look at these examples below to get some ideas of the kinds of things you might want to do with a website. Background
Some Pacific students' teacher websites
 
Eduscapes teacher website:

A High School Spanish teacher: http://faculty.musowls.org/BurrM/index.htm

A Middle School teacher:
http://www.pusd.info/teachers/tdowns/default.htm

An article from Education World (contributed by Amy Guthrie and Cory Bany) that describes how teachers use the web to connect their classroom to parents.

http://eduscapes.com/sessions/brick/brick1.htm The Eduscapes list of teacher websites...but this site does not appear to be actively maintained, so there is a lot of "linkrot" (broken links).
 


Assignment:

In class next time we will use a website editing tool or blog editor to put together the first parts of a professional website. Come to class knowing 3-5 major headings you'd want to use for your website. We'll finish this first draft in class; some of you may choose to go on with this task and make it your final project.

Webpage authoring resources

Other webpage options

N/Vu is open source webpage editing software available to you and your students for free. That is why I recommend it. But there are other options to consider for making a teacher website:
  • Use a blog--I am just beginning to learn about this, but a lot of teachers are not building websites at all, but instead are using blogs (weblogs) because they are easier to edit and can allow student interaction. They are great if you plan to post to your site daily. Here are a few links to get your thinking started:
    • Teacher websites
    • Blogging software
      • Edublogs from Australia has been recommended by Tim Lauer. There are four tutorials videos (about 3-5 minutes each) on this page that will get you started.  
    • A recent article about this approach
  • The September L&L article "Online tools for sharing and collaborating" mentions the Protopage site that provides a free personal start page. There you can access one or more webpages tha allow you to post photos (classroom projects) and create text and links. This one I haven't tried, but on the strength of Julie Lindsay's recommendation in L&L you might want to try it for your teacher page even though it was designed more for social networking. You can control who sees the pages (rather like myspace)...that's about what I know about it.
    • http://www.protopage.com/amandacase
      Amanda used Protopage to create the beginnings of her professional website for a language arts teacher. Do not miss the connection to Google maps under "fun stuff."
    • http://www.protopage.com/mrbaker
      Brad used Protopage to create the beginnings of his professional website for a social studies teacher. It features some good initial links for an economics and American history class together with historical photos.
  • Use proprietary web editing software like Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive.
    Many of Mark Bailey's students purchase (for under $100) GoLive and create their site with that softwarel. It is also available on the lab machines. With N/Vu I basically have you using a template. With GoLive it is easier to create you own design, and many find it easier to manage a website using this software. If a group of you are interested, I can schedule a tutorial for a small group to "make you dangerous" with GoLive. Also a number of Mark's students can be helpful in problem solving this program. Dreamweaver is another option. It is available on all Pacific University computer labs other than Carnegie. 
  • If you have an Apple computer, consider using iWeb. iWeb is the new web editing tool in the iLife suite that makes terrific looking pages very easily. You will need to buy iLife (about $70) and do all your editing in this program.
Options for hosting your final website
  • Blogs are already hosted on the web. Edublogs is my favorite.
  • Put it on the myweb.pacificu.edu server. This server is FTP accessible so you can update it from anywhere. But your files are limited in size, your space goes away once you are not a Pacific student, and there is a disclaimer stamped on every one of your pages
  • Put it on the College of Education server by putting it in the Webdrop folder (inside the Student folder). Then email Mike and he'll post your work. We will host your site for at least 3 years after you graduate and there is no size limitation. But you have to come on campus to post your work.
  • Ask if your district will host your website. If you show them something that improves home communication and supports student learning, they may find a way to do this. 
  • If you have a home account (for DSL or a cable modem, for example) they have space on a server where your work could be hosted.
  • If you are an Apple computer user, consider a .mac account (for less than $100 per year) as a way to host your work, get access to easy to use templates (like iWeb), and host a very professional looking site.
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