If You Build It They Will Come: Building a Web Presence

Presentation by Jane Cook, Technology Program Leader and Jason Courtmanche, Director

2008 NEATE Fall Conference
Friday, October 24, 2008 2:00 – 3:30 PM
The World Wide Web is a powerful tool for teaching and learning that needs to be exploited by the education community. During this 90 minute presentation, participants learned how the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) at the University of Connecticut in Storrs worked with their Web Development Lab to meet University standards and build a robust Web site. They found out how the CWP developed a Web site to foster communication and promote collaboration. They heard about some of the exciting CWP Web-based projects that encourage student and teacher writers to use social networking sites, blogs and wikis to find their voices as well as an authentic audience for their writing.

CWP Web Site

Revising the CWP Web site - The process and the timeline

The Web is growing exponentially, providing educators and students with access to resources that were never before available at their fingertips. During the summer of 2007, with new director, Jason Courtmanche, on board, CWP embarked on a journey to build a robust Web site that would support its Teacher-Consultants, provide a venue for showcasing CWP programs and activities, and serve as a resource for educators and school districts. Follow the links below to see where we started and how far we have come. All but the last bullet point link to screenshots of single pages that are archived on the CWP Web site. The last bullet point links you to the current CWP Web site which is fully operational.

Developing an Interactive Calendar

The original CWP calendar was a static Web page. It contained a JPEG file of the yearlong CWP calendar, a print publication which was mailed to all Teacher-Consultants at the beginning of each school year. The home page also contained a list of the current events for the month with links to the pages on the CWP Web site. This was a step in the right direction but it required constant updating. During the fall of 2008, we worked with the UConn Web Dev staff to design an interactive calendar which is much more user friendly and allows much greater flexibility. Follow the links below to see the change from a static to dynamic calendar to update our users on CWP events of interest.

Saturday Seminars Tech Strand

With the success of the CWP Technology Advanced Mini Institute during the summer of 2008 and the requests CWP was getting to provide professional development specifically related to technology tools that support writing and writers, we decided to offer a Technology Strand entitled "Shift Happens": Technology Tools to Prepare Students for the 21st Century on the first Saturday of the month as part of our Saturday Seminars. Teachers can sign up for one or many of these technology workshops to spend "hands on" time working with the tools that their "digital native" students need to survive and thrive in the 21st Century. Go to: **Shift Happens** for details on our Tech Strand monthly seminars.

Technology Page

Jane Cook, the CWP Technology Liaison who maintains the CWP Web site has created a Technology page with technology resources and handouts from workshops. Go to: **Technology** to check out some of these useful tools.

Online registration for Saturday Seminars

The old fashioned method of registering for CWP events was to fax, mail or e-mail a print copy of a registration form. Though CWP still accepts print registration forms, during the early fall of 2008 we "went live" with an online registration system that is fully automated. Teachers can sign up for multiple Saturday Seminars. They receive an e-mail confirmation and are added to the attendance roster which can be printed for the seminar presenter. To explore our system, go to: **Saturday Seminars**.

Technology, Writers and Writing: An Advanced Mini Summer Institute Wikispace

After attending the NWP Annual Meeting and NCTE Annual Conference in New York City in November of 2007, CWP Leadership Council members began discussing the need to offer technology professional development opportunities for their Teacher-Consultants. From these discussions, the Technology Advanced Mini Summer Institute was born. The first annual Tech Summer Institute was held on July 1-3, 2008 with thirteen educators from all over the State of Connecticut. Jane Cook, CWP Technology Liaison, facilitated this institute and created a Wikispace for the participants to use as a sandbox for exploring technology tools that support writers and writing. To visit our Wikispace, go to: **http://techsi.wikispaces.com/**.

CWP Listserv

The CWP maintains a Listserv for its Teacher-Consultants and other educators who are interested in CWP events and activities. Our Listserv e-mail address is: **CWP_TC-L@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU**. If you are interested in joining this LISTSERV, send an e-mail to **cwp@uconn.edu** and include CWP T-C LISTSERV in the subject line.

Facebook CWP Summer Institute Alumni Group

During the fall of 2008, CWP Director, Jason Courtmanche, created a CWP Summer Institute Alumni Facebook group so that Teacher-Consultants can stay in contact through this popular online social network. As of December of 2008, there are 22 members and the number is growing.
To log into Facebook, go to: **Facebook**
For the CWP group, go to: **CWP Summer Institute Alumni Group**

CWP Blog Sites

Blogs have become a popular online journaling tool. During the 2008 Summer Institute, one of our Teacher-Consultants presented on blogging and created a blog for participants to explore. To view that blog, go to: **http://arabianmagic1011.edublogs.org/**.
During October of 2008, Jason Courtmanche, CWP Director, began writing regular blog style entries on a Wikispace that he created. He sends the link out to his latest entry via the CWP LISTSERV. Though this tool is still in its infancy, Jason has gotten as many as 125 views of his blog entries on a single day in November of 2008 and has had viewers and responders from at least 10 different countries. To view Jason's blog, go to: **Jason's Blog**.