Classroom Websites made Easy! (well, easier)
Over the past few years school districts have felt the pressure to have their own web sites. Even the tiniest of school districts now have their own little place on the web. In the coming years teachers will find the same pressure placed on them. Now, I know that there are many of us out there with some level of “apprehension” when it comes to technology in the classroom. How can we be expected to run our own web site, let alone master the inner workings of Microsoft Office (which a single person could take years to do), figure out the new district wide attendance software, and make sure we’re using the expensive new audio/visual equipment? Even I find it a bit daunting managing our school’s web site, serving as the AR database administrator, and teaching a full schedule.
However, there is an easy solution when it comes to having your own web site (and you don’t have to learn all of that yucky HTML or spend the time figuring out a WYSIWYG software package like Dreamweaver or Frontpage). Jim Wenzloff, a very tech minded media consultant for the Macomb ISD, has set up an excellent website for hosting teacher’s web pages. The beauty of it? It’s FREE! That’s right, absolutely free! His site, VisitMyClass.com, has an easy system of templates and features built in that make posting to the web page almost as easy as typing in Word. The sites are all in the format of a blog (much like this site) and after an initial 30 minutes of picking out the right template and options only require that you login using a password and then clicking on the “Post” tab to enter new information. Average posting time is about 3 minutes (provided you have the information typed up beforehand), which includes logging in, entering a post title and then copying and pasting your information from Word (which incidentally is how I write my posts for the Tech Savvy Educator). Teachers from across Michigan are already using this new service to post daily or weekly announcements, post daily homework assignments, and even have students share their writing online. For educators that already use their computer to write up announcements,homework, and other classroom materials, it’s an extra 3 minutes a day that will greatly enhance your ability to reach parents and students on their own time. Just follow the link to VisitMyClass.com and signup for your own site. Jim is usually pretty good about getting everything set up for you in a timely fashion.