Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a website?
Advantages of having a website:
- Good communication is key to school success. Websites greatly improve the communication among teachers, students, and parents.
- Every student can find the information you post on your website. No documents get lost when they can be downloaded.
- All family members can get information from your website. This eliminates the problem where one parent got the paperwork that you sent home but another did not.
- You can answer a question once rather than over and over. If students ask yet again "What determines my grade?" you can tell them that the answer is on your website.
- Having a website can reduce the number of notes or phone messages from students or parents since they'll be able to find information on their own.
- Parents can track student progress. When you post news, assignments, calendar events, and especially grades, parents can tell what's going on in class rather than depending on what they hear from their children or waiting for conferences. This keeps them more involved in helping their child do well in school.
- It's professional. Information on a website is naturally given more authority than information conveyed only verbally. You can use your website to reinforce what you tell students and parents at school. There's no excuse not to know rules that are posted on your website.
- Parents these days expect schools and teachers to have websites because it serves the interests of them and their children. Your website meets that expectation.
- People who speak languages other than English have one-click access to translations of your web pages. Computer-generated translations aren't perfect but they are much better than nothing.
Disadvantages of having a website:
- Not all families have Internet access at home. Fortunately, they can get Internet access at a library, at work, or at school. Still, some families will have an eaiser time than others in making frequent use of your website.
- Information you post needs to be kept up-to-date. For example, if you decide to post weekliy assignments then you'll need to take the time to update your site each week.
- The ease of sending you a message via the website might tempt students or parents to overuse this feature. Ease of communication is a fact of life in the 21st century. Some teachers welcome the chance for communication whenever students or parents have concerns, but if it gets to be too much or you want them to contact you primarily by phone you'll have to let them know.
- Advanced use of School Loop, such as creating complex tables or embedding videos, requires learning the School Loop interface. However, most of what you need to put on your website is plain text, so it's not necessary to use advanced features like these to maintain your website. This Staff Site provides instructions for whichever features you decide to use.