Years ago when few had web pages I started hosting a we page for the classes I taught. It was pretty basic and I had to manually edit HTML and FTP the new page up to my site when I wanted to change things. It was not the sort of thing every teacher could or would do. Honestly I found it hard to keep current. These days there are many more options for teachers who want to connect with teachers.
Teachers are using wiki pages like those at wikispaces for example. Others are using Ning and creating their own little social networks. Some are opting for simpler things such as blogs on any number of blog hosting sites. You can set up blogs and wikis using Microsoft SharePoint assuming your district has it and is using it as a portal. (Semi-obligatory plug for a Microsoft product that I actually really do like a lot.) And then there are website products designed just for teachers.
Today I received email from Artia Moghbel, Founder of SchoolRack.com which is a free teacher web site for teachers. I asked people about it on Twitter and heard from a couple of people who either use it or know people who do. Those who use it seem to like it a lot. In fact I was told that at one school parents remind teachers to update and are disappointed with teachers who don’t. That suggests that parents really do want to keep up with what is going on in school. I found that having web site that listed projects and topics allowed parents to stay on top of their children better. Usually a good thing.
People also Twittered about a couple of other sites that are being used by teachers. The people at TeacherWeb Twittered to me “Free 30 Day trial at www.TeacherWeb.com — Blog pages, NewsFlash (txt/email alerts), enhanced text pages, EASY TO USE!!!” Looks pretty impressive although there is a cost to using it long term.
A teacher, Patrick Hibbard (@patpack) Twittered “I use @webnode as a free teacher page. They provide storage, rss… the works. www.patrickhibbard.com” While not strictly for teachers WebNode seems to have a lot of good features.
I’m sure there are other good products out there. Do you have a teacher web page? Or perhaps a blog? What sort of platform are you using and what do you see as the pros and cons of teachers websites? Are you a parent or a student? What do you want to see in a teacher web site?