Today's post was written by Alison Navarette a second-grade teacher in the suburbs of Philadelphia (Methacton School District). You can follow Alison on Twitter, follow her blog, as well as see her classroom Google Sites website by clicking on the links.
W is for Website
Make a useful and professional looking
This summer, I finally created a Google Site for myself and I could not be happier with the results. If your teacher site could use a fresh look, Google Sites is what you need. Google Sites is user-friendly with an end result that is customized to your needs and looks very professional.
Check out my friend Brad’s blog post with lots of tips for setting up a new Google Site:
Keep it simple
Know your audience and know what they are looking for on your site. For K-2 teacher sites, your audience is most likely parents. For me, my website gets the most visits in August/September--- the back-to-school stalkers. Parents that I polled want to see Supply Lists and ME via a quick bio and picture. I added a blurb about myself and a picture of me with my family...nothing fancy...helps parents/students to recognize me. During the school year, my 2nd-grade parents want to easily find Homework, Upcoming Events, and Contact Info (my email address mostly). Some parents that I talked to also requested Spelling Lists and Resources for working with students at home. Upper elementary, middle, and high school teacher sites will obviously require different information as well as have a different audience- their students.
Keep it current
It is frustrating for parents to visit a teacher’s website only to find out-of-date information. If your website is the first impression a parent gets, this is unprofessional and makes you look lazy. To easily avoid this, do not include dates or years on your website unless you plan to continually change them. Instead of labeling a page “2012 Math Curriculum” just call it “Math Curriculum” and it does not need updating every year until the actual content changes. I have very few things on my website that will need to be changed frequently as I do not want to add website updating to my to-do list, especially once the school year begins. However, Google Sites makes it quick and easy to update my site when necessary.
Keep it simple. Keep it current.
If you’d like to see what I’ve created….
Thanks for reading and please share your Google site with me.