It's back to school after winter break hereabouts, and we've been working on ALTopedia as well. Here's what's been going on lately:
- We've had a number of users sign up and submit a bunch of really cool activities lately. For example, UonumaRobert has been sharing a lot of awesome PowerPoints. You can use PowerPoint to make surprisingly advanced interactive games, so check some of those out and see if you can use any for your classes!
- There's now a Shoutbox on the front page. It was a long-running feature of Englipedia, so now you can chat in real-time with other teachers. We're also looking into making a Discord server, since that would be something you could run on the web site, a smartphone, or a PC. Does that sound like something anyone would be interested in?
- James from ALT Insider was kind enough to interview me for a podcast to help promote the site. Give that a listen if you want to hear more about the creation of ALTopedia and some advice for passing the JLPT. Sorry I sound a little echo-y; I realized after the interview that I was talking into the wrong part of my microphone...
- We've got a new logo, which we'll try and start working into more areas of the site. Branding: it's all the rage these days!
Development of the site is ongoing, of course. Here are the big items on my list right now:
- Looking into a way to automatically archive Englipedia activities so they can be posted here. This is requiring some technical work since Englipedia didn't store its data in any sort of regular, easily-parsible way like in ALTopedia's database. But we've gotten feedback that some users prefer to use Englipedia's archive over ALTopedia because it has so it many resources. Hopefully we can merge the two, and have Englipedia's breadth of activities with ALTopedia's greater searchability and flexibility. Which leads to...
- A search system. This is another project that will require some technical work. I've mentioned before that my ideal is to have a page where you can check boxes to say something like "I'm looking for a junior high speaking activity that uses future tense" and then see every activity it applies to. I've partially implemented that already, which is why you can (for example) go to the high school page and see warm-ups that only apply to high school classes. I also need to look into some sort of text-based searching as well. As the site grows, it's really important that teachers can find activities that apply to what they're covering!
- A visual redesign of the site. I've been playing around with this for a number of months as I learn more about CSS. I'd like to have a stronger visual design for the site that still works on the older computers that many teachers have to use. I'll keep working on it!
As always, thanks for visiting the site and helping out. It was a really cool feeling to see more people sign up, share their hard work, and then see other people use those activities in their classes and thank the original poster. We're hoping we'll see a lot of that as the site continues to grow in 2019! Have a great year!