Part of being a teacher in this age of technology in the classroom means maintaining a personal web page in conjunction with classes being taught. Web page maintenance should be regular, at least once a week, if it is to be effective. Teacher web pages communicate information to students, parents, fellow teachers, and administrators. As such, their function is multi-purpose and, if constructed and updated properly, should save time as well as serving as a “backup” for everything from course syllabic to daily homework assignments.
Teacher Web Site Features
Although primarily a tool to list homework assignments and long term projects, most teacher web sites offer the following features:
- News links that allow students and parents to enter email addresses so that they will receive updates as they are input.
- Photo and document pages.
- Blog pages.
- Pages that allow the teacher to upload internet links.
- Attendance, testing schedules, and teacher schedules.
- Chat rooms.
- On line quizzes.
Fully using teacher web pages is almost like combining the traditional face to face classroom experience with an I-course. At the very least, using the basic features keeps everyone informed of all pending expectations, assignments, and deadlines.
Tips to Maximize the Affect of On Line Web Pages
Teachers should begin by posting an entire quarter or semester worth of readings, tests, and other assignments by specific due dates. Thus, students will always know from the first school day until the last exactly what will be covered and when. This helps students plan ahead with long term
assignments for this particular class as well as others. Additionally, this will help substitute teachers if such a need arises.
Posting the test and teacher daily schedule eliminates questions from students and parents. Far superior to listing tests on a chalk or dry marker board, the teacher can never be accused of forgetting to inform students early enough. The teacher schedule allows parents to see when the teacher might be free to contact.
Having students and parents add their email address to specific “news” pages improves communication. Teachers can post reminders, details regarding up coming projects and assignments, or necessary updates and once they click “save,” the information is automatically sent to all parties subscribing.
Using the documents and photo pages will save paper and reduce handouts. Teachers can upload their own documents or specific internet sources relevant to assignments. Similarly, the photo page is a highly versatile feature. Teachers that assign projects can photograph the more exceptional submissions and post them for future reference so that other classes can see what constitutes acceptable work. Some teachers use this page to upload field trip pictures or photos from school events.
The Chief Benefit of a Teacher Web Page is Communication
Teacher web pages vastly increase communication. Students can log on at any time to see what assignments are due. Parents will always know the grade expectations. Administrators can gauge teacher progress in meeting curricular goals and fellow teachers can see what kinds of assignments are being posted and when they are due. This helps eliminate assigning several major projects to students in the same grade level all due on the same day.
If the web page is properly set up at the start of each semester, weekly updating takes the form of brief maintenance. The page itself should be set up so that each separate page or link is easily navigable. Ideally, this should involve listing all items on the left of the page in a vertical, linear format rather than horizontal icons that tend to confuse.
A well created and maintained teacher web page is the mark of a master teacher. Teachers that elect to spend the extra time on their web pages will avoid unnecessary questions from students and parents while projecting an example of educational professionalism.