I’m always on the lookout for good websites for teachers, teaching and education in general. My idea of a ‘good’ website is based on the following: It must have a simple, reader-friendly design and navigation; must state clearly on the landing page, what we can find on the site and of course it must have plenty of resources to choose from. When I stumbled upon Guardian’s Teacher Network http://teachers.guardian.co.uk/ it scored high marks on every one of those points (in my book at least!).
The site clearly tells users what they can do by signing up: create resources, share them with other members, and network. If you’re a teacher who likes to create your own material for everyday teaching and wouldn’t mind sharing it with others then sign up, choose a template (word, ppt, excel, pdf, etc.) and upload. You can also look at the huge repository of material shared by others. All material on the website is categorized by subjects and themes, which makes searching easy.
Another feature I really like is the ‘Test Centre’. Once you choose an age group and a subject, the test center throws up different topics under each subject. Each topic has lots of questions that you can choose from to make your own test. You can also save your tests for future use. If your students have access to the Internet at school, you can sign them up for taking the test, which makes it really easy for you to monitor test scores.
The website has plenty of other features, the ones I liked include the ‘Cribsheet’, an e-paper that reports the latest news in school education; and ‘Classroom Innovation’ which features news, videos, podcasts, interviews and articles on educational technology and technology in education. However, I liked the Teacher Network Blog the most and am sure teachers all over the world would be able to identify with its content. On the blog, teachers discuss issues that they face in class, offer solutions to common problems, share tried and tested tips and also throw light on how global problems find resonance within the four walls of their classrooms.
The only hitch for our teachers is that the resources and features are based on UK’s education and school curriculum. My advice is for teachers to take a look at the site and choose features and resources that fit their requirement. In the ‘Test Centre’, the age groups for this service start from 11-14 and above.
Guardian’s Teacher Network is part of the Guardian’s professional networks, which is again part of the UK’s Guardian newspaper group. The newspaper has a long history and is known for outstanding journalism and good quality content, which reflects in all its other ventures. So do take a look at the site and see how the resources and services match your requirement. Happy surfing!