Classroom Web Sites: Forcing the Issue

Our school Web site is increasingly popular with the community, and parent representatives on the technology committee are now suggesting that all the teachers need to build and maintain linked classroom Web pages. Just a few teachers are enthusiastic about the idea. Should I force the issue?

With all the pressures teachers and administrators face today, it’s important to choose your battles wisely. While classroom Web pages can strengthen the home/school connection, poorly designed and maintained pages may actually do more harm than good. The entire committee needs to consider carefully what purpose would be served by mandating classroom Web pages, weighing the benefits and drawbacks. How will teachers benefit from taking on this additional task? How will this help students and parents? Who will monitor to see that pages are up-to-date? What’s the consequence for not maintaining pages?

A prudent first step might be a pilot program for those teachers who want to develop classroom Web pages. Provide some incentives for them such as training, release time, or a small budget. Evaluate the impact of the pilot and then make expansion plans based upon your findings.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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