The Classes & Departments part of the website can be used to give general information about your classes, or for pages (or links to a Blogger or D2L blog) that teachers can manage to share what's going on in their classrooms in more detail.
You can choose from three system-supported options to choose the tool that's right for you and your learning community.
- Teacher Page: fully integrated in your site's navigation and search, mobile-friendly, easy to update from any device and can be translated. Unless you need historical content, this is the best place to start.
- Blogger Blog: part of G Suite, if you want a more traditional blog and need to keep more historical content, consider this public-facing tool.
- Brightspace (by D2L) Blog: if you need something more secure, you can set up a blog with limited access in D2L.
See the Teacher Pages & Blogs section in Staff Insite for more information, or check out our example Teacher Page.
Your teacher page or blog can highlight learning going on in your class for students, parents, community members, or other website visitors. If you're using a public-facing tool like a teacher page or Blogger blog, remember that your content is public, so should not include personal information, recognizable students or student work without the appropriate media release for that student.
If information is intended primarily for your students to be used in learning, it's best to use a learning management system like Brightspace (by D2L) or G Suite, rather than a public page or blog.
If you use Twitter extensively to share our what's happening in your classroom, we can embed your Twitter feed right in your Teacher Page. That means your page will be updated every time you tweet and you don't need to manage your information in two places. Check out our example Twitter page to see how it looks and how to request your page.
Menu & Navigation
If you're using teacher pages, we can organize this section of your website to fit your school. Usually, we'll group your teachers or classes so that those groups will appear in the main drop-down navigation (the way that "Sample Grade or Subject", "English" or "Fine Arts" appear in this site). You may want to group them by grade (Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6), by program (Regular Program, French Immersion), or by subject (English, Fine Arts, Science). You can choose how to name the groups, and how many you need (while keeping in mind that fewer groups makes the navigation easier to use).
In each of those groups, you can have a specific page for a teacher or group of teachers. On a desktop or laptop, these pages won't appear in the main drop-down navigation, but will be visible in the left-hand navigation when a user navigates to that section (just like Teacher Page Sample appear in this site). On a mobile device, the groups and the specific teacher blogs or pages in those groups will appear in the mobile navigation.
If you're using Blogger or D2L, we usually include a list of all blogs on your Classes & Departments page with links directly to each blog. If you have other pages set up (by subject, for example) we can link to the related blogs from those pages instead.
Blogs vs. Pages
If you're not sure whether to use a page within your site or a Blogger or D2L blog, start by asking if a page will meet your needs. Pages:
- Are easy to update and edit
- Can be updated easily from your phone or tablet
- Are integrated in the search and navigation in your website
- Look great on mobile devices and can be translated to other languages
Usually, unless you have a specific need to keep past (historical) content, a teacher page is the best option.
When should you use a blog? When you:
- Need a public record going back months (up to the start of the current school year)
- Have a large volume of posts and readers need to view them by category
A blog shows your most recent information, but also keeps past posts. A page can hold new or old information, but will become slow to load and scroll through if you try to display a year's worth of updates at the same time.
If it's important for site visitors to be able to see what was happening in your class several months ago, a blog is a better choice than a page. Make sure you choose based on what your public viewers need: if you want a record of what's happened in your classroom for your own reference, a blog on your school's public website isn't the right place to keep that.