I feel like I am on my 73 butterfly! I have made so many Digital Learning Hubs and then trashed them all. I started with a WordPress, transitioned to a Weebly, tried out a Wiki and ended up with a Google Site. At our face to face class I discussed my nomadic DHL with my group and they advised me to replace my desire to have a slick site with my desire to have a useful site. I am already using Google for Docs, Classroom, Photos, and Plus. It simply doesn’t make sense to create a new space on a new platform. It was difficult to see all of that work go down the drain…but I tried to use the “Austin’s Butterfly” mentality we learned about in class last week. I was able to cut and paste some of the wording into my new site.
I say new, but I was required to create a Google Site when I first started at my school. After I added a materials list and a homework policy I never touched it again. The information was outdated and no longer represented my classroom. I actually find it a little scary, that this information was still available to access and outsiders might think it was representative of my classroom. This was another deciding factor in selecting Google Sites. If all of my updates occur in one centralized location, I am more likely to keep up to date with the content.
I have made significant updates to the old shell. I selected a new theme and a more sleek visual. I also combined the information from my old school site and my Weebly. I have settled on HOME, MAROON SOCIAL STUDIES, LESSON PLANS, MULTIMODALS, and CONTACT. The only tab with subpages is MAROON. These include; Materials, Homework Policy, and Standards Based Grading.
As of right now I like the type of content on my site but I do not yet have the sticky factor. I know students will visit the MAROON page in the summer after they find out what team they are and parents and students may access the multimodals in the Fall. I decided to add a Student Exemplars page to MAROON in the hopes of drawing students and parents in throughout the year. I will have to look into Fair Use Guidelines for all of my content, especially with the student work. I was certain to obtain permission and review the “Do Not Photograph” list before posting their content but there may be more steps involved here.
When I self assess using Tim’s rubric, my biggest concern is quantity. I am easily overwhelmed and think less is more, but when I look at other sites I know mine is sparse. I was teasingly told in the last face to face meeting that it was not a competition. But I do want to appear to have a professional, well built out site. Ideally, I would be able to link my website to my Google Classroom. This is the platform for my daily conversation with students and parents. Until that is possible, I will take the feedback from the last face to face class and add more about my school activities outside of the classroom and more visuals of my classroom.
I would love your opinions on my site. Please check it out and tell me if my cupboard is bare.