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MVUSD
 

 

© Copyright Brent Coley,
1999-2012.
All rights reserved.
No portion of this website
may be copied without
written consent.

 

 

  

 


What software did you use to create your site?
I currently use Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and Microsoft Expression WebMicrosoft product box shot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. 4 to create and manage the pages of mrcoley.com.  I make all of my major site changes from my home computer using FrontPage and Expression Web, but I also use Adobe Contribute at school to update daily homework assignments and The Daily Blog.  Contribute is a wonderful piece of software that allows users to easily update websites from remote locations.  My clip art and images come from Microsoft Office Online, Wikimedia Commons, and Iconspedia.  Some of the other resources I utilize include:

»  Microsoft Word
» 
Microsoft PowerPoint
»  Adobe Fireworks

»  SimpleViewer
»  GarageBand
»  Audacity

»  Interwrite Pad
»  Jing
»  Windows Movie Maker
»  Prism Video Converter
»  Canon PowerShot SD750 Digital Camera

»  Logitech USB Headset Microphone
»  iPhone
»  Freepolls.com

I have purchased most of my software online from JourneyEd and Computer Products for Education, two terrific websites offering substantial educational discounts on most popular software titles.  In addition to having great prices, I have found the customer service and delivery times to be outstanding.  I would highly recommend these sites for your future software needs.

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How long did it take to create your site?
I first published my site at the beginning of the 1999/2000 school year as part of the final project for my masters degree.  It began as a very simple site, featuring basic subject matter pages, student artwork, and an "About the Teacher" page.  Over the years, I've gathered new ideas and added new pages and features to the site, resulting in what you see now.

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How do you create your classroom's podcast?
I began podcasting with my class midway through the 2005/2006 school year, and I absolutely love it!  I highly recommend giving it a try with your students.  Visit my Podcasting Resources page for more information, helpful links, and tutorial videos.

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How do you run your classroom economy?
For more information on how I run my classroom economy, visit the Classroom Economy Frequently Asked Questions page.

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How many visitors does your site get?
Believe it or not, mrcoley.com gets over a thousand visitors each week, most from outside of Murrieta.  In addition to students and parents from our own classroom, we get visitors from all over the United States, Canada, England, and even as far away as New Zealand and Australia!  At last count, our website has had visitors from all 50 states and 101 foreign countries!

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Can I use some of your ideas on my own classroom website?
Please feel free to borrow ideas you see on mrcoley.com and use them in your classroom or on your classroom website.  I love sharing resources and ideas with other teachers (it's one of the goals for my site).  That being said, I firmly believe that educators need to share and borrow in the appropriate way.  Plagiarism is not something we accept from our students, and it shouldn't be something we as educators practice.  If you decide to borrow an idea and include it on your website, I ask that you include a link back to my site and that you don't copy and paste my exact wording, formatting, and graphics.  I have spent years building my site and crafting the text on its pages, so to see it copied and pasted onto another site as someone else's original work is extremely frustrating, not to mention illegal.  In short, feel free to borrow the ideas, but please give credit where credit is due, and make it reflect your site and not mine.

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Who hosts your site?
For many years, my school district graciously hosted mrcoley.com on its Web server.  I recently decided to move my site to Blue Host (www.bluehost.com).  In doing some research, I found many quality website hosting services out there.  Blue Host was a good match for me because it offers unlimited hosting space and bandwidth, includes a free domain name, is inexpensive ($7.95 per month), has excellent customer service, and is free of unwanted advertising.

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How were you able to obtain the Web address mrcoley.com?
You can purchase domain names for around $10 per year through a number of online registrars like GoDaddy.com.  When I hosted my site on my school district's server, I purchased the domain name mrcoley.com and set it up so visitors who typed www.mrcoley.com would be redirected to my location on the district's server.  If you have a website with a long, hard-to-remember address, I highly recommend purchasing a domain name and redirecting it to your website -- your visitors will thank you!  My site is now hosted with Blue Host (www.bluehost.com), so the site has an actual address of www.mrcoley.com.

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Do you need parent permission to publish student work?
Yes.  Since material published on the Web can be seen by the world, I obtain permission from parents before I publish student work to the website.  At the beginning of each school year, I send home an Classroom Website Consent Form which details exactly how student work will be displayed.  I have chosen not to display students' pictures (for potential security reasons), and their work is accompanied by the students' first names (and occasionally last initials when students share the same first name).

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Do your students help you construct your pages?
My students do not help in the construction of pages, but they do provide the content for some of the pages.  Students write articles for The Daily Blog, create artwork for the art pages, and write the scripts for and lend their voices to ColeyCasts.  You can see examples of their work by visiting the Student Work page.

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Where do you find the time to maintain your website?
It's definitely one of my passions.  It does take a good deal of time to maintain mrcoley.com, but I don't look at it as work.  For me, it's fun.  When I was young, I wanted to be a computer programmer.  I've always loved working with computers, so building and maintaining the site has been an opportunity for me to combine two of my loves -- teaching and technology. 

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Do you have any advice for creating a classroom website?
Start small.  Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are good websites.  And don't try to reinvent the wheel.  Find ideas for your site by surfing the Web for good examples of other teachers' sites.  Just make sure you give credit where credit is due.  Here's a list of some of the excellent classroom sites I've come across.  If you're short on time, two great resources for creating a classroom website are Weebly and TeacherWeb.  Both are Web-based services that help you create a website in a matter of minutes, without having to know how to use any special software.  Weebly is free, and TeacherWeb charges $39 per year (you can also try it free, with no obligation, for one month).  Quantity discounts are available.  If you're wanting to get something online quickly, these two options are great places to start.

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Do you give presentations/workshops?
Yes!  I love helping teachers learn how to use technology in their classrooms.  I have presented at the district, regional, and state level.  Here are the presentations/workshops I offer:

Educational Technology: Without Why, How Is Irrelevant
Too often, new technology tools are introduced to teachers in a "how-to" format, without first giving them a reason to use these new tools.  Presentations like this leave teachers thinking, "That's a great tool, but how does it apply to my classroom?"  Let Brent inspire your teachers as he shares some of the "whys," as well as several specific "ways" teachers can use educational technology in their classrooms.
45-minute keynote presentation

Podcasts and iPod Flash Cards: Study Tools for the 21st Century
Don’t compete with iPods and the Internet, technology that constantly vies for your students’ attention.
 Leverage it.  Harness the tools that students already own and use on a daily basis.  Learn from a classroom teacher how to easily create podcasts and iPod flash cards to help students review material and study for tests.  Classroom examples, video tutorials, and web links will be provided.  Don’t let technology get in the way of your students studying - make it part of their studying!
60-minute presentation or 2
˝-hour hands-on workshop

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Website Edition
You already have a classroom website, but now you want to take it to the next level.  Learn from an experienced teacher how to transform your website by incorporating dynamic, practical, and easy-to-implement ideas.  See how adding elements like audio, video, widgets, and student contests/clubs can not only provide your visitors with quality information, but a reason to return to your site again and again.  The cost?  Nothing but a little time since all of the ideas covered in this presentation can be implemented using already-installed software or free web resources!
60-minute presentation

Below are some of the conferences at which I've recently presented.

If you are interested in having me come to your school, district, or conference to make a presentation or conduct a workshop, please contact me here.  Since I am in the classroom full-time, my availability is limited during the school year, but I would love to try and schedule a time to work with you and your staff.

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