I’ve put a little time in today updating the look of the website. The main reason is to make it look a little sleeker, more minimalist, and allow a clear and easy method of navigating from page to page without all the clutter that existed before. So far I like the new look better than the previous one, and hopefully it achieves the purpose I’ve just mentioned.
In the process of working on the site, I’ve also decided to add a YouTube account to the social media accounts I use regularly for sharing teaching ideas and course material. The idea here is probably less to create new videos, and more to compile playlists of videos relevant to the topics I teach in history and geography. I’ve started a few there, so click your way over there if you’d like to see the kinds of videos sources I use in my lessons. I’ll add more videos as I find them.
Finally, while I was at it, I spent a little time using a cool and simple app on my phone called Quik. It allows you to create slideshows and put them to music, creating neat little videos about whatever topic you like. I created a trailer for Social Studies at Gander Collegiate that provides a glimpse into what’s taught in my courses. It’s a first attempt, but perhaps it didn’t come out too badly.
Up until now, I have been using a different website (weebly) for information specific to my classes, while using this one for other educational pursuits. Starting this summer, I will be moving my class site here to help keep everything together in one place. I will keep a similar layout with a page for each course I teach, which will have an announcements section and place for class documents (notes, study guides, and other relevant materials). Essentially, I will be adding a menu that allows access to a page for each course. This will be simpler for me to maintain and make sharing of resources and materials with students and other teachers easier as well.
WordPress is a powerful hosting site in terms of my own web-based needs, and since I already pay for this domain, it only makes sense to get the most out of it for all my education related postings. I will continue to blog periodically about my thoughts on education and inquiry-based learning (more on this later). I’ve also recently begun cycling, so who knows I may post a little bit about that from time to time.
Anyway, the course part of the site is very much under construction and really won’t be populated with course materials until late this summer as a new school year begins. Any thoughts or suggestions on this would be appreciated, so drop me an email or tweet if you feel so inclined.
Some great news came my way in the last couple of weeks. The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) has approved a writing grant for me. I’ve been working somewhat slowly on a project lately that could really use a boost that allows me some extra time to complete the writing. I figure the summer is a great opportunity to step up my creativity and the funds from NLAC will certainly help. I appreciate the support and am sure it will go along way.
I also noticed that Mike Heffernan has the featured project on the official NLAC site. It’s for travel to Halifax to read and promote his new book Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster. I picked the book up a while ago at a reading he did in St. John’s, but am yet to read it. I figure it will make some great vacation reading. You can find the book here.