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Searching for novel ways to get your students more involved with this year’s curriculum? If so, having students create their own websites can be a great alternative to essays or oral presentations.
A student website project allows students to interface with information in new ways, and can serve to teach them relevant skills such as website design, information literacy, and writing for a broader audience.
If your classroom hasn’t created websites before, a student website project can sound daunting. Luckily, WordPress.com takes care of the coding, design, and other tricky tech components behind the scenes. There are also a variety of tutorials that can introduce you to WordPress.com in a matter of minutes.
There are two things to be aware of:
- According to the WordPress.com Terms of Service, your students must be at least 13 years old (or 16 in the E.U.) to use the platform.
- If you don’t want members of the public to access your students’ work, you can password-protect their pages in just a few steps.
Here are some inspiring ideas for creating a unique student website project:
- Share videos that your students make in class. Students can film themselves teaching classmates about an assigned topic, or interview a relative who lived through a historical event. Check out The Tech Advocate for 10 helpful tips for using student-created videos in your classroom. Uploading videos is included on sites with WordPress.com Premium and plugin-enabled plans.
- Create an online portfolio to display student work. This is a great way to build upon and share existing visual arts or science projects.
- Have students walk readers through the steps of a science experiment that they conducted in class, or share the story behind the experiment.
- Start a school newspaper or literary magazine with student contributors.
- Chronicle a field trip that your class took.
- Students can practice writing in a foreign language by posting about faraway places they’ve visited or want to learn more about.
- Read and review books throughout the year.
- Respond to an educational podcast that students might enjoy, like Science Friday or Stuff You Missed in History Class. You can also encourage students to create their own podcasts. The New York Times offers a resource for educators working with students to create podcasts.
- Promote an upcoming event at your school.
- Students can write about their role models and why they find them inspirational.
- Share poems or stories written by students. Alternatively, students can collaborate on a story in teams. One student will write and post a chapter, then pass it along to a teammate to write and post the next one.
- Set goals and blog about student progress throughout the school year. For example, learning to play a particular song on the guitar in music class.
- Conduct a survey about a social science topic that students researched, then write about the results.
- Students can connect with pen pals across different schools to uncover what other students’ day-to-day lives are like.
- Blog about how students are making a difference in the community by participating in class-wide service projects like cleaning up a local park.
No matter what grade or subject you teach, a student website project is an innovative way to make your course material more engaging, memorable, and fun. With the right publishing platform, you can execute on these ideas in no time.
You might also like: Free Classroom Websites for Teachers