Building with your students in mind
There are a few things to take into consideration when we are building a site for a younger audience, and as an educator, you already knew that was going to factor in. Of course their level of literacy will come into play. Colours and styling also come into play.
In order for students to really utilize your class website effectively, you want to create a site that is visually engaging. Even for older students, too much text and too few images can be problematic.
KISS – Keep it Simple, Silly!! You don’t need an excess of “bling” to create an effective class website. A meme here and there can achieve a great deal of positive reviews from students, as memes hold a large appeal to young people. Too much movement (for example animated gifs) makes a website tedious, but the strategic use of an animated gif can also go a long way toward approval from students. Obviously approval is not our number one goal, educating children is, but tickling their funny bone from time to time can help keep them engaged, and if you change these once in a while, they’ll check out your website frequently looking for treasures.
You can also post items that engender a bit of competition among students. Post a brain twister and offer a prize to the first student to mention it in class. Embed a Google Form with a poll question. You can set this up so that they want to visit your website regularly.
Building with Parents in mind
Surely there will be times that parents access your website. For them, we want to ensure that things like the class calendar or field trip information are easy for them to locate. It’s up to you if you choose to create a page dedicated to parents or not. Again, there is no right or wrong way to set up your website.
Keep your stakeholders in mind, and have some fun creating!