Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ideas for Nonprofit Blogs

After reading Deborah's blog entry titled Blogging for Nonprofits: There's Less to This Than Meets the Eye , I decided to write an entry on ideas for nonprofit blogs.

In my opinion, a blog for nonprofits can be compared to a newsletter.

What would nonprofits want their readers to find out about their organization?

Here are some ideas for what to include in a blog for a nonprofit organization:

  • News
  • Upcoming events
  • Past events
  • Wish list
  • Articles about the organization
  • Links to websites /articles related to the mission of the organization
  • Pictures
  • Facts about topics relevant to mission of organization
  • How to get involved in the organization

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Teacher Training and Integrating Technology

I recently came across an article on The Town Times website titled "Integrating Technology Throughout District 13". This article is about a technology integration plan for a district in Connecticut.

As I read the article, I noticed that it described one of the current problems with integrating technology into the classroom.

What is the problem?

As the article states, there are two kinds of people when it comes to technology.

  1. Digital Immigrants - People who remember life before computers and e-mail.
  2. Digital Natives- These people are children. They have lived with technology all their lives, and it is a part of their every day lives.

Schools in this district (and probably in many other districts & schools around the world) are being filled with digital natives and they are being taught by digital immigrants.

Teacher Training

This district is trying to help teachers learn technology and how to integrate it in the classroom so technology can continue to be a part of the students every day life.

Some teachers integrate technology into the classroom more than others. The district hopes to develop a way to ensure that each student will have the same exposure to technology.

I thought this article had some great points about the importance of teacher training and integrating technology into the classroom.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Usability in Educational and Non-Profit Websites

I have noticed that many educational and non-profit related websites lack usability, especially when it comes to links.

Here are a few articles about links and usability:

Change the Color of Visited Links

Guidelines for Visualizing Links

Broken links and poor information architecture design

How to make links work for your website

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Integrating Websites into Teaching

I realized recently that many educators do not know how to integrate websites into their teaching.

Making use of Websites

Educators might know about websites that could be used for teaching, but they do not know how it fits into their lessons.

There are many ways educators can make use of websites. Here are a few ways:
  • Educators can find information to help them plan lessons.
  • Educators can create webquests or online scavenger hunts.
  • If there is Internet access in the classroom, the class can go on a virtual tour.

Bookmarks on and Planning Lessons

In a previous post, I mentioned the use of for educators. Since then I have thought of another way can be used for educators.

You have found lots of educational related websites. You decide to bookmark them with tags on so it will be easy for you to find in the future.

For example, you found a lesson on the Smithsonian Education Website. The lesson is titled Minerals, Crystals, and Gems.

You bookmarked the page with the following tags on - minerals, science, crystals, gems, lessons, smithsonian

Now it is the future and you are planning a lesson on minerals. You remembered finding a lesson on the Smithsonian Education Website about minerals.

To locate the link, you go to your bookmarks and go to the following page-

Now you have found the bookmark to help with your lesson.

The Future of Educational Websites

As a web designer, I am very interested in the future of educational websites. However, I would not want to create an educational website unless I knew it would be helpful. I am curious what types of websites educators are interested in.

Have you ever taught a topic and thought "I wish I could find a great website about this topic"? If you have, I would like to know.

In my opinion, websites need to have more instruction on how educators can make use of the site.