As technology becomes a bigger part of our daily lives, many schools are creating free teacher websites for the classroom. These websites can be a major asset for any school. However, it can be tricky to consistently create compelling content and appealing visuals.
When creating websites for the classroom, it’s important that the site is designed with students, parents, staff, and the community as a whole in mind. The website is an opportunity to build support for your school and keep people informed on important events. Schools are the center of our communities, making a website all the more necessary.
Luckily, we have all the tips you need to ensure that your teacher website not only matches your needs but exceeds your school’s expectations. Keep reading to learn how you can make education websites effective and user-friendly.
1. Make Education Websites User-Friendly
Your website needs to be accessible to everyone in the community. Young children and their grandparents should both be able to use the site with ease. To ensure this, use large font sizes and soft colors. Be sure to also keep the style consistent throughout the website to avoid confusion. It is also important to avoid making the site overly complicated. Having just a few pages with detailed information is much more effective than forcing users to open multiple tabs to find what they are looking for.
2. Display Student Work and School Photos
There’s no point in having a website if no one ever visits it. By displaying student work on your classroom website, you’ll encourage families to visit the site and admire the projects the students have been working on. The work you display can range from creative writing to art projects. And in addition to bringing parents into the fold, displaying work can also motivate students to do their best for the honor of being showcased on the website.
You also have the option to personalize your website with photos of your school and its events. Everything from school plays to fully decorated classrooms can be showcased on your site. If you regularly update these photos, families will be excited to visit the website often to view them. Just be sure to get parental consent before posting any photos of students on your classroom website.
3. Include Information Parents Need to Know
Every teacher knows that handouts get lost on the way home. Whether they’re left on the bus or end up at the bottom of a backpack, many parents never see the flyers their children are given. Luckily, teacher websites allow educators to directly share any information parents need to know. For instance, a teacher can share a list of school supplies every student needs to have on the website. In addition, the school can provide resources to parents such as a parent handbook and community resource directory. At the end of the day, students perform better when their parents are actively engaged.
4. Hold Students Accountable
How many times have you heard a student say they forgot a homework assignment was due or that a test was coming up? Students have busy lives, and it can be hard to keep track of everything. Free teacher websites for the classroom eliminate this problem entirely. Teachers can post homework details, due dates, and other information related to assignments on the website. All the information students need to be successful will be housed in one place. Some teachers also choose to create a calendar on their website. This calendar can include field trips, sporting events, test dates, and more. Student confusion can be eliminated entirely.
5. Use Education Websites to Fundraise
A school can never have enough funding. From basic supplies to computer labs, there are countless resources you want to provide your students with. Creating a classroom website is a great way of raising funds needed to purchase these resources. For instance, you could develop an online store allowing families and community members to purchase t-shirts and other items that display your school logo. The profits could all be invested back into the school. You can also create an online donation tool allowing members of the community to contribute money directly.
6. Streamline Administrative Tasks
Beginning of the year registration, permission slips, and medical excuses can be a hassle. Doing things on pen and paper requires far more effort and organization than digital forms. With simple software, your education website can make use of simple and secure virtual forms for parents to submit. For instance, rather than handwriting a note to be delivered to the teacher, a parent can upload a PDF of a doctor’s note from home in seconds. This note would be saved online and easily accessible. Complicated attendance sheets would become a thing of the past.
7. Be Sure to Include Contact Information
You would be surprised how many classroom websites include the names of school staff, but not their contact information. Create a simple page on your website that lists all teachers, administrators, and other staff members along with their email addresses or phone numbers. This will help parents communicate with the school and build stronger relationships. As we said above, students perform far better when their parents are actively involved in their school life. If you want to go the extra mile, include information on who parents should contact for various issues: for instance, which administrator to email with questions about discipline and which member of the office staff handles attendance issues.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that your education website should be tailored to your school. You know its needs far better than anyone else. While one school may benefit from a detailed school calendar on their website, another may have found that sending out important dates via email or text is most effective.
You should experiment until you find what works best for you. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask parents and students for feedback regarding your website. After all, they’re the ones who will be using it most frequently! With enough effort, you’ll be able to create an education site that parents regularly visit. Over time, you’ll see that the community is more involved with your school and that you have access to resources you never imagined.