Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Need A Teacher Webpage?

A teacher's webpage can be used in many different ways.  The website can be used to communicate with parents, a classroom environment for the students, or a project pace that the class could share with another class at any other school.   The historical problem with teacher webpages is that creating and maintaining the webpage could be a daunting adventure requiring special software and knowledge of internet publishing.

In Austin, teachers were given a webpage tool that was fully supported by the district. These teacher webpages were simple, but integrated into the district's network so that the creation was mostly content creation and not website creation.  Instructional Technology staff have been training campuses for a couple of years now and training is still available from the old IT wiki:

AISD Teacher Webpage Setups - From the Great and Wonderful Susan Monahan

          The pages below, but on their own page:  Teacher Webpages
          Page, Properties, and Photo   1_prop_photo.pdf
          Handouts  2_tchwebpage_handouts.pdf
           Calendar  3_tchwebpage_calendar.pdf 
           News  4_tchwebpage_news.pdf
           Links  5_tchwebpage_links.pdf
           FAQ's  6_tchwebpage_faq.pdf
           Add a Page  7_tchwebpage_addpage.pdf

The New Alternative - Google Sites

When the district adopted the use of Google Apps, we were able to include the use of Google Sites as a district-supported website creation tool.  Teachers can find the Google Sites resource by going to the AISD Cloud, opening Google Apps (AISD - Start - Collaboration - Google Apps) and clicking the white 'Sites' link at the top of the page.
Google Sites not only provides a very customizable website location, but also provides many templates for education webpages.  The templates are pre-formatted for classrooms, after school activities, or just teacher communication sites.  Once you understand the editing process, you can quickly update the content without every having to do any design work.

AISD teachers can sign up for summer training on Google Sites through the eCampus professional development catalog. There will be a full day training offered that will get almost any teacher up and running before the end of the day.

For the self-starters or independent-level technology users, Google has provided many resources for educators to use to help create their functional website.  One resource, http://edutraining.googleapps.com/Training-Home/module-5-sites   is the classroom component for some online Google courses.  Self-starters should be able to use this site to create their own Google Site.

There is much one can do to customize Google Sites, including embedding web content from other sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or Flickr.com. The site can have multiple pages and a teacher can assign edit rights to specific pages to specific teachers or students with AISD usernames.

Do you have a Google Site already?   Comment below and share your site address so we can share in your success!


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