Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Museum Explorations (and website building)
I'm developing two educational tours of local museums, piloted under the name Museum Explorations.
I have found that most students (and most adults) move through museums in a very passive manner. At best they learn some facts and experience some remarkable (but easily forgotten) images. Real learning, which is to say, real knowledge building requires active learning and context building.
So I am developing "walking classrooms" based on the principles of Understanding by Design, and using active learning methods. Contact me if you want to learn more about walking classrooms and Museum Explorations.
In the process of developing the curriculum, I realized I needed a new website as a storefront. Building a website can be an intimidating process. Even the designing stages require a lot of work that can't be off-loaded onto a website developer. The following blips give a peek into what I've learned.
First, it's best to have a knowledgeable son. My son, my mentor, and often my inspiration, Josh, has been an invaluable help.
Even if you want to create your own web design from the ground up, it's critical to search the web to see what models will best suit your needs and your aesthetics. Here's two sites that I have found to be remarkably helpful. Both provide ready-made templates for websites. There are dozens of websites providing free or reasonably priced templates. However, these two sites stand out because they both gave me rapid and extremely helpful feedback when I queried them with questions ranging from "what software should I use?" to "do I have to web-host with you?"
4Templates also suggested I check out the open source (free) software package, BlueGriffon. If you're developing the website yourself, you'll need the proper editing software to customize any template you use, or to build the site from the ground up.
Here's BlueGriffon's address: