Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Westerville Teacher Web Pages

As I meet and work with students at the beginning of the year I am reminded how important it is for teachers to spend time creating and supporting communication in their classrooms. There is no substitute for a teacher to meet and interact with a student or parent face to face but I would like to offer suggestions how we can support this process using a few technology tools. 
The first tool I would like to offer teachers is the creation of a teacher webpage. In Westerville City Schools we have the choice to create a webpage using the district teacher webpage creator or an outside creation tool like Google Sites. Either way, creating a classroom webpage is an excellent way to support communication with your students and parents. 
10 reasons to host a classroom web page:
1. About Me - Create a paragraph or two about yourself.  Students and parents love to know a little bit about you.
2. Contact Information - At the minimum every teacher can provide their email account.  Email accounts are already posted online so placing it on your webpage makes it a couple clicks easier for students to reach out for help.
3. Calendar - Using Google Calendars gives teachers a place to post due dates and classroom events as well as a link for parents to follow the calendar.
4. Classroom Expectations - This should be posted in the classroom and on your webpage.  Communicating to students and parents our expectations is vital to maintaining open communication.
5. Homework Policies - Do you specific ways your students need to turn in homework.  Post the process to your site.  This helps parents understand how the classroom operates and allows them to support your classroom.
6. Forms and Handouts - This can be beginning of the year Forms that need completed and returned to newsletters to homework sheets.  
7. Announcements - Announcements should be a summary or description of upcoming events and can be linked in your Calendar.
8. Class News - Post items about your classroom.  What we did today, topics we are working on or anything positive about the classroom and your students.  This is another great way for parents to feel more in tune with what is going on in the classroom.
9. After School Care information or Homework Help Lines - Information for parents about district provided after school programs including care and homework hotlines.  This can also include community programs.
10. Links to technology and digital resources - We all have our favorite web resources.  Give students and parents an easy place to find the resources we use inside and outside our classrooms.

This is a short list and there are more reasons to maintain a classroom webpage but this is a good start.  What are your reasons for maintaining a teacher webpage? Over the coming days I will continue to offer additional digital tools to support teachers communication process.  As always, contact your WCSOH EdTech Coach for more information.

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