I have been given the go ahead from my middle school principal to teach a year-long elective that will be focused on creating a school website. The students taking my elective will help construct, design, and maintain the site.

Does anyone know of any success stories, models, or other information regarding putting together a class that functions with a group of students collaborating in this way?

Thanks in advance for any contacts, links, or advice.

Also, I'm currently creating a class website with Wordpress -- it is here: www.jlmsbloggers.com, but I"m not sure if using Wordpress is the best choice for the school website.

Robert

Tags: school, student-run, website

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Working in Groups or Working Individually
I teach groups of students on how to make websites bi-annually.

1. If you want them to learn how to work as a team then have them work on the same project.
2. If you want them to learn how to make websites then have them each build their own website

But you can't teach them both at the same time. If you think by teaching them plan 1. that they'll learn how to make websites and work as a team then your setting up your students for failure. Its hard to learn how to make websites and its struggle while learning how do to it as a team.


Using a Wordpress to Teach
Change the theme to have something that looks like a traditional plain website.
The "Window's Like" look is visual clutter. What's important is the information, not the theme.
The theme is a visual obstacle to the information
Thanks. I still think I'm formulating what I want the main learning objective to be. I've done a lot of project-based things with them in the past - podcasts, iMovies, etc.

Have you or anyone out there had any experience with GenYES or TechYES? Website here: http://www.genyes.com/programs/techyes/techyesvid

Thanks for the feedback.
It is a good idea. I am curious to hear what others will say. :)
I am a teacher in Ausralia and am about to set something similar up. We have been blogging for 18 months now, with edublogs, but I use wordpress for my own blog. The theme of our website will be "Ask Techno Kids" where we are hoping that students or even teachers will ask them questions re blogs, other digital media etc and my students will respond - a bit like a forum. I am hoping to set this up in the next two weeks. So, I shall follow your journey with interest. I will still have full administration rights so that I can step in quickly, if needbe.
By the way, I really like wordpress, although I am still learning about it, but we used wordpress for a big collaborative project in music between three schools. See Ping
Thanks Anne. I'd be interested to keep up with how your Ask Techno Kids project goes as well. I too am relatively new to Wordpress, but starting to use it to transition my own classroom projects into its structure -- here's my website in progress: http://www.jlmsbloggers.com.

Thanks for your reply and for sharing.

Robert
Thanks. Hey, what does "SDLC" stand for?
Thanks. That is very useful. I work at a very hectic, overcrowded, understaffed inner city school in Los Angeles and matters of workflow, communication, and efficiency are under constant threat.
Hey Robert,

I produced a quick video a long while back showing how I'd quickly build a website.


Few website suggestions:

Notepad++
htmldog.com
firefox web developer toolbar and firebug
http://blog.html.it/layoutgala/

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