Mia Morgan, Ed.D., M.L.S.
I am not going to lie, creating and maintaining a classroom website requires a monumental amount of work.
Last year, I created a library site using Google Sites. I spent hours, many, many hours, working on the structure and layout of the site. I spent many more hours filling the site with content. Over the last year, I have used that site daily with all of my K-4 students. While I spent many hours building the site, and even more time maintaining and updating the site, ultimately it has paid off in my teaching. Having a well organized and up-to-date website means that my lessons run smoothly and I can focus on teaching my students a process for using technology and doing research that begins with knowing where to begin. For my students, they begin on the library website.
A year later, I am in the process of rebuilding the site in WordPress. I was happy with my Google Site that I built using the ‘Classic’ sites, but needed to update it to keep it in line with the newly updated district site and also, since Google Sites changed their website design to ‘New’ sites, I worried that my “Classic’ site would become obsolete. I intended to rebuild the site using ‘New’ Google Sites, but found the functionality to be sorely lacking. For one thing, ‘New’ Google Sites does not allow HTLM editing, which means you can only do what you can do, nothing else. I was stumped trying to create in page links and gave up, and switched to WordPress.
Again, I will not lie. I have spent as many hours recreating my site in WordPress as I initially spent building in Google Sites. Not only did I need to develop a solid structure and layout, I also needed to recreate all of my links and reload all of my images. I am taking care to make sure all of my images and media have alt tags so the site will be ADA compliant.
The difference this time around is that I know how important the website is for my teaching. The effort it takes to build and maintain a classroom website is well worth it knowing it will be useful to me and my students. Should *you* create a classroom website? Absolutely. In the end your effort will pay off, but go in knowing that you will invest many weekend and evening hours into getting the look and content that you want.