1.28.2009

Guilty of Blog Abandonment

Dear Blog--


I'm sorry. I've been distracted by another website. It was new. It was exciting. It paid me. It's not that I no longer care for you, because I do, but I guess I just needed a break. But now I have completed it and am no longer feeling the thrill of the chase. So I can now pay more attention to you. I promise to try...

Love,
Heather


I've just finished the new website for the Middle Tennessee Writing Project, and am really excited about how it turned out! Let me start by saying that I am not a web designer. I worked for a website in college, but I did mostly copy writing and data entry. The little design I did was very template driven. Besides, things have changed A LOT in the last few years. I used WordPress to create it as it gave me a lot of flexibility and then googled constantly trying to figure out how to do what I wanted. It was sometimes frustrating, but I learned so much about web design! And I learned the most from having to fix problems.
Actually, it was a ton of fun, and I'm sure I'll continue to fiddle with it forever. And let me just say one thing: Plugins are SO MUCH FUN! Other people figure things out and you just download and insert. I was able to add a message board, mailing list and chat room (among other more admin type things) using plugins. And you see the MTWP button in my sidebar? It's grabbable from the website! I may do a tutorial on that, because it was super easy.


I also want to point out that this is not my website. MTWP is part of the National Writing Project, a teachers-teaching-teachers professional development model that has completely changed my appproach to teaching and has given me avenues into areas of education that interested me, but that I had no idea how to break into. I'm honored to be a part of the organization, and even more so to be able to be so in a leadership role. My job as Co-Technology Liaison is to use technology to further the work of the Writing Project. Which, if you are a teacher, you need to be a part of. Today. (go to NWP.org to find a list of sites in your state) Objective number one was to create a website that would be interactive, could be used for both continuity and professional development, and act as a marketing tool for the organization. I think we have a good start on that (we already have four online applications to the Summer Institute!), but am excited to look for additional ways to support the work.

So, check out the site, and please leave me any feedback you can on it. It's not perfect, but I want it to be, and I need some other eyes on it.

Next up....Birthday Party planning! Avery will be 3 in just over 2 months...and I'm behind!

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