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Class websites provide teachers with a highly customizable tool for managing class content. All active classes a teacher instructs receive a class website. The website’s primary function is to display class content to parents and students. Class content can be anything from upcoming assignments, posts or pages created by the teacher, class discussions, resources, or photos.
Class Website Content Management
The class website itself is a content management system designed to present students and parents with important information about the class. All class website management is conducted from the Website tab in the class section in the Teacher Portal. Websites are class specific, but certain components, such as the homepage, may be set to apply to multiple active sections of the course. Other components are added and edited per class so teachers can tailor their content to each class as needed.
Content is added to the class website and managed per website content component.
Class Website Components
The homepage is the main page of the class website. Teachers can personalize their website by adding a background color or image that will display across the website no matter which content area the student or parent is viewing. Teachers can also decide what content they would like to feature on the homepage by assigning a specific page to be used as the homepage. This allows teachers to create many different pages and display them as necessary as homepage content to ensure the most important information is reaching the students and parents.
The Timeline displays all activity per day organized by weeks within the class schedule. Activity can either be something a teacher has added to the class website such as an update to a photo gallery or a new post, or an assigned or due assignment, lesson plan, or discussion. Both teachers and students/parents are able to see the exact same Timeline. This helps facilitate communicate between each side: information creator and information receiver.
Posts are short messages to parents and students intended to provide quick information or announcements about the class. Posts can be in the form of a “quick post” that are simple text to students or “full posts” that have advanced content editing options such as adding images or embedding videos. Recent posts are displayed to students and parents on the Post tab on the class website and within the Timeline.
Pages are longer content pieces intended to be used for static class content. Unlike posts, which are usually published around a particular occurrence within the class, pages are not time specific. They can be anything from information about units covered in the class, content reserved to display as the class website homepage, class newsletters, etc. Pages are added and maintained by the teacher from the Pages tab in the class website management section. Only pages that the teacher has made available to the class website will display to students and parents.
Resources may be attached directly to a class website without being tied to another class content area. Class resources are organized by topic. All topics with attached resources will be available to parents and students in the resources section of the website. Resources are maintained for individual classes on the Resources tab of the class website section or across classes in the Teacher Library.
Teachers can maintain photo galleries using the Photos tab in the Teacher Portal. Photos are organized into galleries and can be added by either uploading from a computer or integrated directly with the Veracross Teacher Camera & Files iOS app. Parents and students can view these galleries on the Photos tab of the class website.
Discussions are communication forums that the teacher can open to allow students to interact and discuss a particular topic through comments. Teachers have complete control over initiating the discussion and deciding when it is closed to commenting through the Discussion tab in the class website management section. Students can participate in open discussions from the class website.
Creating a Template Website for Multiple Users
Schools wishing to create a template for class websites that multiple users may access and replicate should take the following steps.
Determine the Scenario
There are a few reasons that a school may wish to enable teachers to replicate class websites. The most common scenarios are:
- For uniform websites within a department
- For new teachers or teachers who have not yet created a website from scratch
Create a Course and Class
For either of the above options, a new course and class will need to be created to house the template website with the Portals. Add a new course to the correct department and a new class within that course.
Note: if the class website template is not specific to a particular department, a new department may be created to house the course and class.
Design the Template Website in the Teacher Portal
In order to create the template, the user who will be designing the template will need to be given the Permission of either Primary Teacher or Additional Teacher. The website may be created to any degree of specificity that the school deems appropriate.
Share and Duplicate the Template
Once the template is finalized, it should be made available to other users who may need it. To do so, add those users as an Additional Teacher. Once the new teacher has access to viewing the template class in the portal, they may use the Class Migrator Tool to make a duplicate record to build their own class website.