The Friday Folder

Finalsite Learn updates and tips and tricks for teachers.


Home (page) Improvement

One of the quickest ways to engage students is by giving them a visually stimulating place to start learning. You can think of your home page as your "virtual classroom." It provides a great way to direct your students to important information they need to know. Also, secretly, you can add in some enrichment items at the same time!

As with any good home (page) improvement project, you always need before and after pictures.


Let's take a closer look at a few of the options in the after view:

1. Course Overview Section. Adding Something here can allow students to feel welcome when they enter their group space. It is also a great way to quickly introduce the course overall, or what you are doing this week!

2. Resources. This is a quick pathway for the students to get to the resources section. Having this front and center can give them speedy access to the documents they need.

3. Calendar. Having this section updated and ready to go eliminates the occasional student saying "I didn't know what we had for homework last night." Also, its a gentle reminder to fnd the handout in the resources section can be a life saver for kids-- no more 1 a.m. emails for you!

4. Embed. Have you ever seen a share button that looks like this:

Often this will lead you to something that will provide you with an "embed code". This means you can copy and paste the given code directly into that element on the group space. Why does this rock? Because now you don't have to send your students into the distracting world of YouTube. You can keep them right in your newly decorated home page. If your flip your classroom, or if you just want to add some tutorial videos this is a great way to do it!

Psst: Want to look like the tech pro at your school and make those embed videos always fit to the width of your column? Look at the embed code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FSyAehMdpyI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>. Where that frame width = 560, change the 560 to 100%!

Ready to deck out your homepage? Click the "customize" button at the top right of your group space screen. (Don't see the customize button? Ask your site administrator to enable this for you in the group manager.)

The more welcoming your space, the more likely your students will be to visit. Now is a great time to invite them into a space where you all can learn together!