The success of sites like Teachers Network are almost entirely dependent upon the passion and dedication of their members. Our job is the design, build, and maintenance of an enticing, collaborative infrastructure that allows us all to get more done, work together better and share information between ourselves. Aside from the nuts and bolts that go into this, we need help from members to build and manage the content, the management of interpersonal issues that naturally come up (moderators) and subject area experts.
The site and policies are designed for total transparency. Contributors are visible for the work they do and contributions they make. As we grow, site usage will continue to be monitored and adjustments made where necessary. This process will be done hand in hand with the feedback from members and contributors.
What Is Teachers Network?
Teachers Network is a collaborative information sharing resource for the education community. It combines advanced collaboration tools, social networking, cloud file, media and document storage and sharing, and a wealth of public education related information. Every member has their own area of the site where they can work and publish either individually or as a group. Groups allow members to work as teams and can be created when needed.
Members enjoy free access to all collaborative, social networking and public resources on this site. They are free to upload and share documents, audio, video, pictures and discuss any topics of interest through groups, their individual member areas, and through the public forums. Members and group administrators control privacy for content they create or manage in their respective areas. More information can be found in the About page.
Future releases will include subject specific sub-sites with additional features specific to particular areas of study. The first two sub-sites that are planned are ece.teachers-network.com (possibly maker.teachers-network.com) where electronics and computer science subjects will be covered. An english.teachers-network.com site is also being planned targeting English language education. Note: paid premium services will also eventually be offered including larger file and document storage spaces.
Ways We Can Work Together
Teachers Network combines many social and collaborative features together in a single integrated environment. Each area has its own special needs but most need some combination of content authoring, moderation, and available subject area expertise. The areas below offer a brief introduction to some of the different parts of the site and the challenges they represent. This is not a complete list, and we suspect this will be somewhat of a moving target as we grow. Look at this as a starting point and see how what we are building here can help in the areas you are actively involved in. We’re here to help, but need your feedback and assistance to make it truly useful and successful.
Subject Area Experts and Moderators
A lot has been written on how to get along and what type of content to avoid. What we need here however is to make sure that content that we make available is to the best of our ability accurate and truthful. A quick review of your favorite Facebook groups should demonstrate rather quickly the huge amount of inaccurate and totally uneducated rubbish that is published as fact all the time. We need to work together to create an environment rich with reliable, factual, and helpful information. A good starting point is with subject area experts moderating their areas of expertise.
Site Wide Administration
Most site administration is intended to make sure that members don’t stray from the Terms of Service. These terms, while articulated in legalese by necessity, are intended to be quite simple. The intent is to maintain a friendly, family oriented site free of undesirable content (porn, hate, fake news, spam, fraud, etc) to maintain a pleasant and efficient working environment. A few areas that need to be monitored include member spaces, forums and galleries. At the moment we perform spot checks from time to time, but do not actively monitor all content. At the same time we need to make sure we have a safe and friendly environment, we must also respect member privacy. This can be a fine line if it is determined a member is in violation of the terms of service and/or involved in illegal activities. Protecting the safety of our members is always our top priority.
Instead of actively policing all site content we rely upon spot checks and notifications from members when they see something that appears to be improper. Other than the areas mentioned above it is not our place to censor any postings if at all possible. It is the responsibility of all members to properly maintain their own member area, and the responsibility of group admins to make sure their groups are run properly. For other system areas there are no current problems there however we can always use additional volunteers to look over different parts of the site.
Groups are special spaces made up of one or more members. They have their own private discussion forums, galleries, and document storage areas. Group members write and publish content, store and share files and other media among themselves. They are used for special interest groups, classes, and other situations where members want to work together. Access is controlled by the group administrator(s) and can be either public (everyone can join and see), private (the group is visible but content can only be seen by members), and hidden (same as private but not listed in the site group lists).
Groups can only be created by the site administrator. The requirements for new groups are that they have a clearly defined focus with some connection to education, and that an active member will take responsibility for the administration of the group. Public groups undergo spot checks from time to time however we try to stay away for active policing of private or hidden groups. The exception to the later is if we receive complaints about how they are run or inappropriate content.
The download area provides resources to the public for download. There is not much here yet and has not received as much attention as it should. In time more structure will be put in place in a way that allows for multiple independent administrators to watch over it. In the meantime if you have content that you would like to make available please let us know.
Discussion forums (sometimes referred to as message boards) are online areas where people hold conversations and communicate at their leisure. They are sorted by category and topic and contain discussions which are read and replied to by other members. Teachers Network has integrated discussion forums into all member spaces, groups and the system forums. Each forum can be run by separate moderators. Public forums are visible to all members and are moderated by the site administrator. Member and group forums are run by the member or group administrator respectively. Moderators filter what content is appropriate for their forums and set up access permissions. For instance class groups may want to be set to private access where only the group members can see and contribute. Different classes may have different policies on what they consider appropriate content and behavior.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a language or set of rules for describing the look and formatting of web content. These are tools that advanced content writers use to make their published content more presentable. For more information on CSS see the How-To Guides Working With Images and Teachers Network CSS Style Reference. The available styles should cover most member needs but there may be times when more sophisticated styles are needed. If you need features that are not available, or if you have styles you would like to contribute please let us know.
We are always looking for new ways to better work together and how to better tune the services we are already offering. Any and all suggestions on how we can improve our services are most welcome. We’re also always looking for people interested in working with us on testing of possible new features. Tell us how you’d like to help or contribute!
How To Contact Us
English speaking Teachers Network staff can be reached at any of the addresses listed below. A full list of our public contact addresses can be found on our Contact Us page.
|CSS Related Issuesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Comments and Suggestionsemail@example.com|