Monday, May 17, 2010

If You Build It....

Our district is currently changing website providers from Schoolcenter to Schoolwires. No small feat for a district our size. So much of my time lately has been spent in these efforts at schools and online providing help for teachers to move content and create with the new Schoolwires site.

In some of these work sessions, I've heard teachers voice what is a common concern at some of our schools.

"Why do I need to create a webpage? My students don't have Internet at home, and parents don't check it."

I've heard this response before when talking about blogs, wikis, voicethread, animoto, or almost any web2.0 tool. And when answering I try to channel my best voice from Field of Dreams.

"If you build it they will come."

It is true some of our communities do not have widespread Internet access, but I suspect if they feel the teachers are providing important information and showcasing their child's classroom many in fact will come and find a way to check the site. I've found students also find ways to get online and check classroom sites if they have a reason, especially if they think they'll see some of their own work. Indeed some of the best blogs and websites in our district belong to teachers whose students and class parents may or may not be able to get to it at home. But those teachers' sites look great, and I suspect people find ways to get to the sites.

And although it wasn't in Field of Dreams, I can almost guarantee that if you don't build it they will not come.