[cleeng_content id="862574081" description="How to use a website / blog for teaching purposes" price="0.49" referral="0.05"]Content is King
After the website is set up and ready to go you’re in the need for the most important ‘feature’ of all. Content. Content is the most important thing since it drives users to your website or keeps them away. However, on a school website / blog, there is no need to be perfect. Everybody who visits such a site knows that students make mistakes. There is absolutely no problem in that. So get your students going, make them try, let them make mistakes and publish their stories, experiences, videos, pictures, etc.
In order to avoid to many grammatical mistakes you can install one of the many ‘correction plugins’ (example: JetPack for WordPress) that are available through the wordpress plugin section.
Types of content
Content is not necessarily only restricted to text. However text is the most important one and obviously also important in terms of teaching. Nevertheless content like videos, music, pictures, etc. are also a good idea once in a while and keep the whole thing attractive.
Maintaining a website / blog is obviously not a one time activity. You need to keep it at least little up to date, post once in a while and make it interesting. While this means work for you, the teacher (motivating students, checking their work) it also provides, like already mentioned, a good learning experience for students. If they are responsible for different parts (technical maintenance, content, design, etc.) they will learn how to manage projects among different groups all by themselves. In my experience it is totally worth the extra work for me since students really learn much more than they actually think they are learning.
Besides letting your students write articles / content and maintaining the site it also has one other big advantage. You can show off. Don’t tell me your school doesn’t like that. Every school tries to do it, and every director loves it. A own website is a great way to show off and to let also the school’s staff interact.
Furthermore it is a good place to promote your social networks, announce news and changes, etc. I think you all got the idea.
How to spice our website up
While nice content, cool pictures and videos are a good start for your website / blog you always should think about how to spice it a little bit more up. Be special, be unique. Show something, that other schools don’t show (if they have a homepage at all of course).
- Check grades: Being able to check grades online became very popular among my students. Over a long time they could only check their overall grades on the official school website, now they are able to check their English grades in detail. Very useful add on.
- Wiki: Introduce a wiki. Students can exchange knowledge this way and will have a lexicon easily available.
- Games / Quizzes: Adding games and quizzes to your website can also be a good idea. You might even want to add a ‘ranking’ of the best students (nicknames only).
Like always I am already talking to much. However I hope you understand that maintaining a website or blog for your class / school can bring many advantages with it. Nevertheless it means work and you should be prepared for it. The outcomes is, in my opinion, worth the extra work though.[/cleeng_content]