Why Reinventing The Wheel?

I wrote in my blog post Selling Book Sharing Sites in October that We decided to redo our web page to make it more attractive and interactive.

I created Seisen HS library web site six years ago using iWeb. It is a very intuitive and fun to use site builder, but it is also limited compared to WordPress, for example, that allows to embed videos, to create drop down menus and add widgets. Since Apple is going to stop supporting iWeb in May 2012, I’ve got the perfect opportunity to try something new!

I am going to try to make good use of advices from Jacob Nielsen’s and Michael Agger “How We Read Online”:

– Bulleted list
– Occasional use of bold to prevent skimming
– Short sentence fragments
– Explanatory subheads
– Changing color of visited links
– No Pdf
– Fixed front size
– Page title that makes the site easy to find via search engines
– No hyperlink that opens in a new browser

Most of all, I would like to create an easy to navigate website and add content that serves Seisen community best. I will try to work with Lee Raine’s (Pew Internet and American Life Project) questions in Mind:
Are libraries places for solitary study or community-based study? I hope that this web page will be used for both, with links to study alone as as well as some to share and create.
Are you a portal/pathway to information or are you an archive? A web page can be the perfect platform to connect users to each others through network sites and updated links. I like the idea of “Portal of Information” very much. A place where users find resources for school and for their life in Japan.

My elective students already started to work on a new web site last December, using Yola, but they struggled to learn using the software (me too!) and ended up pasting the content of the old website in the new one.
We were all frustrated and, tired of trying to reinvent the wheel, I searched for a solution and discovered Google Sites and its templates that are soooo easy to modify!
google sites>create>choose template> browse gallery for more (I typed “library”).

This is a picture of my favorite template and how I would like to modify it. I will discuss about it with my elective students this week. I am sure They will love the fact that they can work on it together !
Tell us what you think!

Seisen Website Project

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3 Responses to Why Reinventing The Wheel?

  1. Anne-Marie,
    Thanks for your post. I too appreciated the articles by Nielsen and Agger and hope to update my blog soon. 10 things to Consider When Blogging, an article by Patt Flynn, 10 Things to Consider When Blogging, also offers good suggestions in brief language, so it’s a great resource. (link to smartpassiveincome.com for the link to Yola. Your template for the library website looks awesome and is a great diagram to include in your post. It clearly outlines your ideas. I’m interested in how you placed the labels on the screenshot as I can see this as being a very useful tool that could also be used with students. Reading your post sparked my further reflection about a class blog that I am planning. I’m wondering now, since my students all have blogs of their own, if I should consider creating a website as opposed to a blog. I want the site to be interactive allowing students to respond to content from time to time, but I’d like for it to be “one -stop shopping” as well, or a place where students and parents can go to find the latest assignments and information about the class. I need to get the purpose firmly laid out before I proceed. Thanks for reminding me of another option to consider.

    • Avatar of amthinnes amthinnes says:

      Hi Richard,

      About the labels:
      I used Google Documents>create> drawing to label the screen shot. I made a screen shot of the web site template and pasted it in Google Drawing. Then I used shape> callout to insert the comments in it. For a better idea of the process, this is the link to my document in Google Drawing link to docs.google.com
      About the web site:
      We started working on it last Friday (after I wrote the blog post) and this is how far we got link to sites.google.com
      What I like most, it that this template includes “library News” and “Look What’s Happening”, so that we will have a mix of a blog and a web site. This is what I was looking for, just like you. Google Sites has tons of templates for classes, I am sure that you will find one with the same feature!

      Thank you very much for the link! I this web site, I also liked “10 things you can do right now to improve your online business or blog” I will share it with my students next week!
      I wish you as much fun as me creating your web site!

      Thank you again.


  2. Kim Cofino says:

    Looks great Anne-Marie! I’m looking forward to seeing what your students create. As I think I mentioned in one of your previous posts on this topic, it’s great to see students involved in the development of this kind of resource!

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