Any opinions on social networking site for teachers?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by xappeal, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. xappeal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane - Australia
    #1
    Alright, so I got bored in the holidays and turned my old robotics site into a social networking site for teachers....

    The aim was simple, so many teachers that I have met have such negative attitudes about technology, particularly anything to do with communication (God forbid students talk....) So I tried to make a site that had communication as its core (understand the tools and the fear goes away...)

    I just published the changes yesterday... probably not the best time of the year, but being in Australia it is in the middle of my summer holidays.

    Anyway, how do I get teachers onto it? (some may have only used the internet sparingly) And, is the site easy enough to navigate? Is the idea or concept of the site clear enough?

    You can check it out here:

    http://nxtclassroom.com

    I know that there are a large number of pro designers that frequent the site, but anyones opinion would be helpful!
     
  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    At first glance, the site looks great- to me, someone who is completely comfortable using the internet. However, I would worry that to someone who is scared of technology, there is way too much going on there, too many links to click on. I would try paring down the information, at least on the front page, to just the essentials. Think a deeper, rather than broader, site structure.
     
  3. rhyndu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    A Planet Orbiting Sol!
    #3
    I'd do a redesign or at least a recolor scheme to make it brighter. Teachers don't want pinstriped green and black... what about some psuedo crayon?

    And what about a LOGO???

    Its a good idea though :)
     
  4. xappeal thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane - Australia
    #4
    Yeh... I don't know how to make a good logo... But I need one.

    Does anyone have tips for making one?
     
  5. rhyndu macrumors regular

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    Dec 17, 2007
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    #5
    I'd get a WACOM tablet of some sort... or just download the Gimp (free, sorta buggy, version of Photoshop, basically) for Mac and play around with it.:cool:
     
  6. Photomax macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    A cool logo/graphic for this would be to take a photo(looking down) of a really old fashioned student desk(made from wood with the inkwell etc) and then add your site name using the Photoshop text tool. Using Layers and a drop shadow mask you could create the visual effect that some nasty school kid carved the text into the desk...

    Just an idea...
     
  7. xappeal thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 9, 2005
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    Brisbane - Australia
    #7
    That is a really cool idea! Thank you.

    I have photoshop, now I have a really good reason to learn how to use it!
     
  8. macsig macrumors regular

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  9. rhyndu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    A Planet Orbiting Sol!
    #9
    He's using Joomla! (Does Moodle use this?)
     
  10. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Great idea

    I'd love to be able to participate in something like this. The educational company that I work for should definitely do something like this.

    I think of it as a forum where teachers can network with other educators to talk about trends, methods, different styles and textbooks/software programs to use. It can also be a great way for some technologically disadvantaged teachers to reach out for a bit of assistance without having to go through the embarrassment of a face to face encounter.
     
  11. xappeal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane - Australia
    #11
    You should get involved, I'm not really sure where I am going, but maybe you could run events in the chat room where you could get teachers (parents ect) to respond to what you have.

    I used joomla for the main site, moodle for the courses. They both are php, but different.

    I have a bridge that allows one login though, this helps and makes sure that users who sign up to one don't get frustrated trying to sign into the other.

    I think my biggest problem at the moment is finding a partner to work with on the site... my expertise only goes so far, and when I go back to school...
     
  12. xappeal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane - Australia
    #12
    Getting back to the topic...

    Does anyone know the best way to tell teachers about the site?

    Is it worth signing up for Google Adwords? Or should I ask someone to do some publicity?
     
  13. rhyndu macrumors regular

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    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    A Planet Orbiting Sol!
    #13
    Adwords probably won't help you much because your target audience is teachers that don't use the 'Net much.

    How much $$$ do ya wanna put into it?
     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    I completely agree.

    From the point of view of someone not net-savvy, it's way too much info. The site's fine, just not for beginners.
     
  15. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #15
    Ditto. Way too much information, much of which is irrelevant to education in my opinion, for example: games. Also, as someone who is in the field of education and technology, I would suggest you make the site smaller (maybe just a forum) and concentrate on developing a member base before adding things like "courses" and "guides," which may be helpful. But at the moment, they're empty so they're just discouraging.
     
  16. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    yep

    I concur.

    Pick ONE thing and do it really well before you branch out. Too much information means people will get confused, discouraged and/or frustrated.

    Maybe a forum for discussing technology's role in education? Add forum topics related to exactly that and see how it goes from there.
     

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