We’ve looked at the absolute basics for creating a teacher website that will make a positive impression and be useful to students and parents. We’ve given you some ideas for using your website for more than just a page with your name on it. And we’ve provided some resources for the more adventurous, who want to get the most from their classroom websites.
Let’s finish up the week by looking at the ways you can share student work on your website. It’s exciting for students, informative for parents, and fun. My writing students find that it feels very different to write for a wider audience than just themselves and their teacher. In many communities, the school may find that sharing student work will improve public relations, too.
The first concern is security. Many parents worry about having their students’ pictures on the internet. Actually, there is no evidence that stalkers pick kids from their pictures online, but it is certainly possible that someone in the future might bully Jeffrey with that picture of him in the caterpillar costume. You may be able to make a password-protected section (most content management systems have this option), or you can simply choose pictures of the products rather than of the students.
Here are some good ways to showcase student work on your class website:
- Make a gallery. This will look much better than just sticking pictures into your site in a long row. Your content management system may have an option for making galleries. Plogger is a fairly easy way to put a gallery into your site if you use HTML.
- Make a slideshow — an easier variant on the gallery. We’ve written about slideshows and linked to tools in our Farmers Market Lesson Plans,Making Movies in the Classroom, and Embed Some Resources. You can easily make slideshows from a bunch of pictures, even using PowerPoint if that’s most comfortable for you, and then convert the slideshow to a video, upload it at YouTube, and embed it at your site.
- Use Google Docs. While the results won’t look as good as the options above, there’s more versatility. Read about Google Docs in TCR’s Using Google Tools in the Classroom.
Any of these options can make a great class project.