Web pages are another one on my main go-to platforms. They are a little more complicated to learn and set up, but once going they are a great resource. They are the main part of my “resource hub”. I use them to organize my resources and to make the easily accessible. They are viewable from any device in the world with an Internet connection and do not require any special software or passwords. They are really only one-way communication, but much of our communication is one-way anyways. I use them as the place students go for assignment details, notes, deadlines, lesson plans, and much more. You are currently in my web page for school. There are many platforms you can use to create them from WordPress (this site), GoDaddy, Wix, etc., but the easiest and cheapest is Google Sites.
They take a little longer to learn and set up than Google Docs, but they are really just a modified word processor.
Access for Students and Parents
Here is their strength. Any Internet connected device can access them. You can restrict their access with passwords, but I rarely do. I am surprised how often the students access my web site via their phones to just find class information. Is is easy to link things together, so organizing the information is easy.
Updating and Modifying
Once learn how to create and link them, they are easy to update and modify. They are not much more difficult than Google Docs. Once you save and upload the changes, everyone in the world can instantly see the changes.
They will not go obsolete any time soon. It can be a little extra work to move your stuff from one Google Site to another, but it is possible. It is also fairly easy to move things from word processing and other platforms to web pages and vice versa.
Google Sites are free, but the school’s site is owed by the school. If you move to another district, you can move your stuff, but you will lose your current site. WordPress, Wix, etc. cost ~$100/year + extra for domain names.
My web site is my “resource hub”. If it can be posted here, it is. If I need to tell the students something (one-way communication) I normally have it in my web site. Even though Google Classroom is my default “students go here first” site, my web site is where everything is actually stored. I just link from Google Classroom to my web site. Since web pages are so easy to link together, all the information is just a click away.
I have been experimenting the past few years with various sites and am in the process of moving things to WordPress because Google Sites was too limited for me. I am paying for it out of my own pocket, but since I use it so much, it is worth it.
- You are viewing my current WordPress website and can browse it more.
- Here is my old Google Sites web page that I used last year for comparison.
- Here is my very old web site that I used before I moved to LAPS. I used this site with my classes for 18 years.
Here are some of the things I have posted to my web site
- Assignment details and rubrics. I don’t get asked “What’s the assignment, when’s it due, and how am I being graded?” anymore. It’s all online for the students to read themselves. I also have links to other resources like YouTube videos. I now just post almost my entire curriculum and let the students go at it. In some of my classes, the students have access to all the assignments and can begin working on them day one.
- Lesson plans. I don’t use PlanBook or other lesson plan software as I found web pages easier to manage, link and browse. I have just started planning for this year, but here are my AP Computer Science plans for the next 2 weeks. If you want to see old lesson plans for a full year, here are some old AP Computer Science Lesson plans. Also, I own my lesson plans. PlanBook is paid for by the school. If you move schools or the school stops paying for PlanBook, it may be tough moving your lesson plans to a new platform.
- Syllabus and other class information.
- Digital Classroom Expectations
- Digital Classroom Tools
- Class Schedule
- Graphics and Modeling Syllabus
- Coronavirus closure information. I posted information last year about what was happening so that students could use this a reference and not have to ask me the same questions over and over. I could also change the information on the page without having to send out another email every time something changed.
- Student work. Watching out for privacy and other concerns, I post examples of student work. I don’t have any current examples on my new web site, yet, but here are some examples of student work from old classes that I taught.
- Student Portfolios. Web pages are a great way for the students to create portfolios and show off their work. It also prepares them for the real world as they may need a web page to sell their stuff.
- Class notes and resources. Even though I often use Google Docs and other platforms to create the notes, I link them in my web site for easy access. Here are some examples: