Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 11:46 AM CDT
BG teachers getting their own websites
By JENNA MINK,The Daily News, email@example.com/783-3246
When students in Natalie Croney’s class forget their assignment after they leave school for the day, they can access it from home with the click of a mouse.
Croney, an English teacher at Bowling Green High School, is one of several teachers taking advantage of a new online feature for Bowling Green Independent Schools.
Thanks to a new program, teachers now have their own websites, giving students access to assignments and lecture notes and parents a way to monitor what’s happening in classrooms.
“I’m using it as a tool for students and for parents. Sometimes you have parents who want to keep up with what’s going on in classes as well,” Croney said. “It’s just another mode of communication.”
The websites mirror the Blackboard system commonly used by colleges - teachers can post assignments, notes and other classroom information. At Bowling Green high school and junior high school, several teachers have already posted their syllabi, assignments and links to tutorials.
Some teachers have additionally used their websites to give students and parents some background information about themselves. They have posted classroom rules, supply lists, reminders of upcoming events and calendars.
When revamping the district’s website, Allen Martin, district technology resource teacher, had a list of goals. One goal was to incorporate modern technological skills into the classroom and into students’ homes. Creating individual teacher websites helped accomplish that task, he said.
“Now a teacher can collaborate not only with parents, but also with students,” he said. “If a teacher wants to put out a worksheet, for instance, and the student loses the worksheet ... instead of not having the worksheet, the parent and student can print out the worksheet. So they don’t miss their assignment for the day.”
The websites launched July 1, and teachers took training sessions this summer. Some websites are still in development stages, and technicians are working out the kinks, Martin said.
Some schools are sending out newsletters with website links and are gathering parents’ e-mail addresses to send them website updates. To access the websites, students and parents can visit the district’s home page, www.b-g.k12.ky.us, find their school under the schools link and click the teachers’ websites link on the left.
Officials are planning Internet Safety Week for the week of Sept. 20. A representative from the state attorney general’s office will have a presentation about sharing information online. One night, parents will be asked to attend a presentation about online safety, Martin said.
Meanwhile, teachers are constructing their web pages. Some have played with colorful backdrops. Some have uploaded photos and videos.
“Some will go all at it and, of course, some will not,” Martin said. “Ultimately, it lays in the hands of the teachers.”
Croney has already posted assignments and reminders of quizzes. Her website has a separate link to each class, where she describes the course and posts class announcements.
“If students desire to do their homework, it will give them another means of getting it done,” she said. “It will definitely take away excuses for not doing it.”