Visually Engaging vs Confusing

Since I teach in a 1:1 classroom most of the day, my teacher Homepage gets viewed frequently during the day. The students know they can get to the resources they need through the site (which is a good thing). Towards the end of the year, the coding on the site would not display as I wanted (even though it had been the same way for two years without being temperamental). Eventually I gave up on trying to have a simple list of the class blogs and the key resources with a corresponding graphic. My teacher site changed dramatically – it went from a plan linked list to a colorful explosion of information (created with Glogster Edu)

The day after I made the change, students in every class commented on the change. Most of the 6th graders said they loved it. The 8th graders could not figure out where the class blog links were (each class is named with a different color). So the question remains: is my teacher homepage visually engaging or just confusing? Remember, my target audience is middle school students. So they love to randomly move the mouse to see what can be manipulated, moved, and linked. If there is a link, they will check it out to see where it goes. If there is a movie or an audio file, they will click to listen. There curiosity is heightened if a change is made to something they are accustomed to seeing.  The curiosity is not contained by the school walls, it extends home. If they are at home, they will still click and play with websites that give them the options.

About Lisa Butler

Middle school geography teacher, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of purposeful technology and am creative with their application. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading children's books, baking with a toddler sidekick, running around, or dreaming of traveling.
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