When I first sat down to create a website for my class, I thought about what Kajder stated in her own thought process about crafting online sites for her students; that she considers “what her students need, why they might access the site that you create, and what you can provide that would meet your own goals and offer a compelling resource” (120).Now, my class team already has a basic homework website where I update daily what the night’s homework will be. As Kajder mentions, it does help cut down some homework confusion and it does allow for students to be able to stay on top of things while they are absent; however, unlike Kajder’s seemingly perfect students, my students still line up at my desk when they are absent to ask for her. This could either be a difference in age – perhaps high scholars are that much more independent than my 8th graders – or it could be that they weren’t being provided with enough information. It occurred to me that through various tools I am finding, I could actually post my power points, other notes and handouts on the website – both allowing for students who are absent from class to be more caught up, as well as cutting back on the amount of copying I have to do as my students seem to inevitably lose handouts daily.
I really like Kajder’s ideas about how important planning a website is. She is correct; I would never let my students take on such a large task without first thinking about what they want the focus and layout to be – just like with writing an essay, it helps to see an outline of the finished product first. I particularly liked her ideas about using sticky notes to help arrange her ideas; I think that is a great visual and one that is obvious easier to move around then regular sizes of paper. To get back a thread in the discussion about the idea of websites, Kajder points out again that it is important to consider the content of a webpage, rather than all the “bells and whistles”. This is very true with class websites – students go to these for guidance and clarification, not to look at something snazzy. I am going to work on getting my home page to have a link for all four of my different sections, as well as other useful/interesting outside links relating to English class specifically – this way, I can still be part of the team website with homework, but students will have a place to go for English specific concerns – hopefully, this will further engage students and give them a forum on which to post their views.
http://www.classnotesonline.com/student/index.php?t_id=11928&origen=TS - my rough website