Ten or fifteen years ago it was hard to imagine your regular school teacher creating and running his or her own website: it was hard work, requiring a lot of time, effort and specialized knowledge to pull off successfully. And its dividends were questionable at best – there wasn’t all that much a teacher could do with a website. It was a pastime for rare technology enthusiasts.
Not anymore – today creating a website is a simple and quick procedure. But why a teacher should want one? Let’s see.
Students with special needs (Asperger’s syndrome, autism, hearing and vision problems), traditionally have trouble following the things happening in the class. Teacher’s website will provide them an easy way to access assignment details, notes, instructions, additional materials and so on. These people have enough troubles already, so making their lives even a little bit easier should be motivation enough.
Teachers have been racking their brains for generations trying to engage their students in the process of education, make them participate, excite their interest, motivate them to learn outside of classroom. By starting your own website you create a handy instrument for this purpose: by adding new information regularly, by following the class events you will gradually broaden the scope of educational process beyond the borders of a classroom, learn how to teach differently, make the entire thing more interesting both for yourself and the children.
Maintaining a website no longer needs to be a sacrifice on the part of a teacher – times when web hosting was prohibitively expensive and available only to purely commercial projects are long past. Even the cheapest web hosting provided by a good company will be more than enough to cover all the needs a local educational site may need.
And it works both for parents and their children. Parents will no longer have to ask you directly what happens in the class – they may read a detailed account of it online. They may address their questions and suggestions to you without having to ring you up and wasting time, both yours and theirs. Better informed parents mean more constructive feedback, fewer misunderstandings and higher efficiency.
There are plenty of talented and enthusiastic teachers all over the world, teachers who create their own approaches, methods, engage their students in unusual ways, bring something new into the education process. Unfortunately, the majority of these worthwhile finds remains limited to their schools and never gets recognition they deserve.
The Internet allows us to break free from this pattern – by sharing your experience, successful experiments, prominent creative work by your students via your website you will encourage other teachers all over the world to try out new things, teach and learn in new ways and share their own results.
Most teachers write down their daily lesson plans and keep them for future use; but keeping notebooks for this purpose looks a little bit outdated by now. By going online you will be able to bring all your materials, books, links, teaching aids and so on together, create a meaningful whole, consolidate it in a form that will allow you to make corrections later on, return to the archive of your lessons the next time you teach the same class, see what did wrong and correct your mistakes.
Technology permeates every nook and cranny of modern life – and if it is widely used for entertainment purposes, why not find a way to implement it for education? A classroom site is no longer perceived as extravagance – soon it will become a usual thing.