Question: How do students use my website?
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Most students will visit your website at the start of the school year to see what is there. They'll see the online version of your syllabus, the list of supplies they need, and the other information you have posted. If you provide a link to their online textbook, they can bookmark it. If you provide a list of links to resources they might find interesting, they may look them over or remember them for later.
Your website gives you an easy way to communicate with your students. If students get in the habit of looking for information such as assignment due dates there, you may find that they are more aware of the schedule and have fewer excuses to say "I didn't know."
How often students return to your website depends mostly on how often you update it. Examples:
- If you post news or assignments or show due dates on your calendar, students will learn to watch for them.
- If you post assignments, students may use the "RSS feed" to watch for updates. (RSS is a web news-tracking system supported by School Loop.)
- If you post downloadable assignment sheets, students can get new copies if they lose their original.
- If you post password-protected student grades, they and their parents are likely to check their grades. Let them know how often you plan to update the online grades. Note that MiSiS, once fully adopted, is expected to give parents access to grades.
- People love pictures, so if you have photos, a photo slideshow, or a video on your website you'll probably attract more attention, especially if you update them now and then. Be sure to get parental permission before posting photos or videos in which a student is featured and easily identified.
Students who are absent may check your website from home. If you post assignments and let students download assignment sheets, absent students may be able to do their assignment on time rather than waiting to get the assignment when they return to school.
Even if you don't update your website regularly, students may return to it once in a while to look something up, e.g., when your conference period is or what your homework policy is after a school absence. Don't be surprised if a student checks your website from the School Library or while using a computer in another classroom!
Even though students can talk to you in class each day, soem of them may use the School Loop message system to send you messages. They use a form on the website to send a message, which you'll recieve by email. If you don't want students to contact you this way, or if you have a policy about when they can do so (e.g., during an absence), let them know.