If you district is a GAfE district and doesn't have a classroom website system in place, give Google Sites a try. It is very easy to get started with a hub for your classroom communication.
At TCEA I was fortunate to sit in on Christy Fennewald's session on Advanced Google Sites. You can find Christy a Fennovation.org, on her blog at http://digitalliteracy20.blogspot.com/, and on Twitter @christyfenne. If you are into Google she is one to follow. Her information is great and straight forward for all to understand.
From her session, she shared two of her presentation about sites.
Here is her recent blog post about her TCEA presentation.
During her advanced session, she offered many great tips to make your site better. Here are a few that I was able to jot down.
- No more than 5 links across the top.
- Don't do drop down menus because that is harder to access on a mobile device.
- Make an image map using Google Drawings.
- It is usually better to make your site from scratch, but admins could make a template for their teachers to use.
- 1200 px is a pretty good width.
- If there is a blue button, click it.
- SiteMaestro is an essential, advanced add-on for Google Sheets that allows you to bulk-copy, share, and manage Google Sites with rosters of students. If you are looking to do student portfolios through Google Sites, this is the add-on you need.
And if you are wondering how she made the cute, little, animated avatar, check out Androidify.