Friday, October 30, 2009

Teacher Web Pages

I'd have to say that this has been the week of teacher web page training. I've thought long and hard of how to present this so it makes sense to everyone. While I was out sick a couple weeks ago, I was able to create a teacher handout with step by step instructions and screen shots. I also created a storyboard just so our teachers had a visual representation of all 27 of Socs "Teacher Page" templates. For the most part, I'd say things ran pretty smoothly. My biggest recommendation for teachers beginning a web page is to start out small and work into something more dynamic. The problem occurs when a teacher get students and parents hooked into their site, and then he/she doesn't have the time to keep up with it. It very quickly becomes outdated, and once users decide the information is not fresh, they will not return. So when you do have some time to update, you will no longer have an audience.

I'm not advocating that teachers create a static page, because that is exactly why we had to change our website format. I suggested to some of our very beginning website creators that they just maintain the "main" page for a while before hyperlinking other pages. While long, scrolling pages are not desirable, using just one page for information is a good first step.

I'd say the most confusing and frustrating thing our teachers are facing with this website creation is the fact that although the web-editing software looks like a word processor, it is still an html creater...which sometimes takes on a life of its own. The best solution to this is to create an "invisible table"--a table with the border set at zero--that way you do have some control of how your page will appear.

Speaking of confusing and frustrating...CPS--student paced--responders--WHS...not even going to get into it now because it has been blogged about before, but we need to have some serious conversations about this. This CANNOT happen when we roll this out, or we will have people shut down & turn away.

Week 12 Oct. 26- Oct. 30

The main thing I got out of this week....... Expect the unexpected. I will leave it at that.

This week was a very challenging week. So much going on and so little time. On Monday I went to Nodland and explained the new websites to their teachers. It was fun and challenging at the same time. Only one of me, but many teachers at different levels so it was hard to keep on track. Eventually I just threw the script and plan away and I ran around like a chicken with their head cut off. :) It will work out. It is a long process and we will get there, we need to be patient and work within the boundaries of what the website actually allows us to do.

The rest of the week was just training here and there, modeling the technology to teachers as I taught a class, plenty of troubleshooting, and putting out fires. We continue to have some issues with CPS even though we have installed the new CPS Pulse. Are the CPS responders working as seamlessly as we had envisioned, not even close. We are still having too many issues that shouldn't happen, and it's not user error.

I also continue to be bust going around to classrooms in our district recording teachers use of anchor activities. I do have to say we have some awesome things going on in our district. Keep up the hard work and more technology will be in your rooms before you know it.