Friday, March 13, 2009

Web Sites for School

I was not one of the first teachers at my school to build a web site. But during the summer of '07 I purchased iLife and became fascinated with the idea of constructing a personal web site hosted on MobileMe, that displayed my interests, photos, mp3's, etc. Admittedly I went somewhat overboard, but iWeb provides wonderful tools for adorning a site, and at that time, it was my only vanity badge on the Web. It was linked to the school site my email signatures, so I logged plenty of visitors. Ironically, since placing profiles on Twitter, Facebook, ALI, etc., I have actually pared back my personal web site abit. Portions had come to seem redundant. The only recent innovation has been the inclusion of more video. But I intend to keep the site going for the foreseeable future. After all, I do not "Friend" my current students and this is a non-interactive way that they and others can learn more about me.

My next web site venture was the development of a Mercy Shakespeare Society site. Linked to the school web site, it was intended to be an advertisement for prospective members and a bulletin board for current ones. To date, the site has logged over 850 visitors, but I have to confess that I have been disappointed that the members do not regularly use it as a source of information. I may not update it so frequently, next school year.

I am proudest of the web site for my courses, which is intended for parents and other stakeholders. I aggressively championed the site through notes sent home and by linking the course site to the school site. Well, last week we had Parent Teacher Conferences, and it was depressingly clear that these well designed, informative sources did little to diminish the banality of the "how is she doing" conversations. When I referenced information on the site, few parents even showed the barest recognition, or mumbled a vague intention to "check it out" later. At this point, I am questioning how much further time and effort to invest in this project.

Much more satisfying has been the site hosting my AP American Government and Politics vlogs. iWeb has an excellent blogging template that allows me to post my students videos and then host an online conversation about the video. Currently, the site is password protected, but at some point in the near future I hope to showcase this to my faithful readers. I am excited about vlogging and intend to use next month in my Film class . I also look forward it exploring iWeb09. which Apple just sent me through the ADE program. I'll let you know what I discover.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on becoming an ADE. I am just down the road from you in Southfield. Looking forward to meeting you at Full Sale this summer.

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