District Web Page MS/HS

Which Web Page do I Use?

Many teachers are using various other web tools such as Moodle and Wikispaces to name a few in your classroom. In addition you may be using ProgressBook to post homework and other class information in addition to Grades. Finally, you have a district provided web page linked off of your school's website. There are many questions and a lot of confusion about what individual teachers should be maintaining in terms of a web presence. In order to answer this question one needs to understand the purpose and the abilities of each web tool.

  • Wikis: Wikis are Web 2.0 environments meant to be used as a collaborative space for students and staff. Since they are collaborative spaces, Wikis can be edited by members (staff and students) of the wiki. This makes a wiki an undesirable place to post class information, announcements and homework.
  • Moodle: Moodle is place to create formal online lessons for your students. It is an environment that allows the teacher to create a virtual course. You may choose to use Moodle if you want to create blended learning opportunities for your students.
  • ProgressBook: ProgressBook is your gradebook, and allows you to share grades with students and parents. It also allows you to post homework assignments for students and parents to see. While ProgressBook is a great site for posting information about your homework it does not provide you an opportunity to support that work. The district website, your wiki or Moodle would be locations of homework support (e.g., videos, handouts, surveys, recorded lessons, presentations, links, discussion forums).
  • Website: Websites are great for pushing information to students, parents and the public. The website is a great way to create a springboard for other web-based services you may choose to use. On your website, you could have a link to Progress Book, your wiki, Moodle, and other online environments. Having a branded, public face on the web is important for the image of the district as a whole.

The Importance of the District Provided Website

The district website provides two important functions. It is the online public face of the district. Users come to this site to find out information about the district, the school and the individual teacher. Because of that, the individual teacher's site should be up-to-date with some basic information. In addition, the teacher's web serves as a launching pad to other websites (e.g. Moodle, wiki, ProgressBook).

Because of these two important functions it is imperative that your contact information is present and up-to-date and any links to other web tools are available for students and parents to access these sites from your homepage.

Anatomy of a District Webpage

anatomy_webpage.jpgDistrict webpages are divided up into two distinct windows. The main window is approximately 450 pixels wide. This window is best used for content such as your contact information, a news feed or other text that provides information about you or your class. You should at least have your name, what you teach, your voicemail number and your email address as a link in this text component of your homepage. You can add other text components as you add to your homepage. This initial text component is for contact information. In addition to this initial text component, many of the teacher home pages come with a "news feed" component.

The news feed is an under utilized component on the district website. News feeds allow you to send to subscribers (e.g. students, parents) information on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.) about your classroom or homework. This could be used to post assignments. More on news feeds later…

The second window is 220 pixels wide. This window is usually reserved for components that either navigate to other places (i.e. links) or allows the user to retrieve something (i.e. downloads). There are many other components that can be added to your webpage, check back as we continue to grow this site.

Step Sheet for Adding Contact Information to the District Website
Step Sheet for Adding Links in the Links Component in the District Website
Step Sheet for Adding Downloads in the Downloads Component in the District Website