ALTopedia's Third Anniversary!
April 29, 2021
The first ALTopedia activity was posted on April 29, 2018, so that makes today the third anniversary of the site!
It’s been quite a journey so far! Looking back three years ago, it was kind of tough to get going. Just getting the site up and running involved learning a lot of new technology and dealing with things when they inevitably didn’t work. Those first 6 months or so were pretty lonely. I remember when I’d space out posting my activities to one every several days so at least something looked like it was changing on the site!
At age 3, I feel like the site has found a wider audience and is starting to live up to the goals I had when I first fired up the web server and database back in 2018. The goal has always been to be a home for ideas, which is why I kept and adapted the light bulb logo from Englipedia. I remembering starting out as an ALT and wondering what on earth I was going to do in my classes to practice all of the different textbook material. I was grateful when I found Englipedia, but I felt like it had a lot of areas where it needed to be improved. Once it was time to make a successor to it, I developed an appreciation for how much effort it takes to develop and run a modern web site. I try to make the kind of site that I would like to use myself, and my classes have also benefitted a lot from the creative things that different people have posted on the site over the last three years!
The big change recently has been the new design that came out this month, but there have been several other additions as well:
- Colin built a new system that lets you go to one of your activities and quickly add or remove tags. There was something like this in the old site design, but it was pretty rough compared to Colin’s elegant new interface!
- You can now write a longer bio and talk about your teaching history on your profile, if you want to. I’ve added in longer explanations for tags. I’ve written a handful so far, but not a lot. I might ask for community contributions about this some time soon.
- Users who support the site on Patreon now have some special account privileges. Currently, they can upload their own avatar. More perks are coming, so feel free to join the Patreon and help pay the server bills!
- I’m making more tags relating to newer grammar points or themes, or splitting the larger grammar points into several tags when one of them seems to encompass too much. Especially the wily Infinitive!
This year all of the Junior High textbooks have changed, but thanks to these kind folks, I’ve been able to get a lot of them listed:
- Rebecca for Here We Go Elementary
- Ashley for Here We Go JHS
- Dave for One World
- Fatoumata for Sunshine
- Sara for Blue Sky
If the site is still missing your textbook, or the listings for your textbook aren’t very accurate, I made a video showing how you can take a short video with your phone that I can use to make textbook listings. I think I’m probably missing a lot of Elementary School textbooks, and the current Elementary listings aren’t very good because I had to guess at the themes by looking at the Table of Contents pages.
The site is still far from perfect, but I hope it gets a little better each day as lots of people contribute to it. I’ve said this before, but I’m always thankful for the positive and friendly community that’s developed around the site. I think people come here because they care about their classes and want their students to enjoy learning English. I think about the times where I came up with an idea that I was excited about for one of my classes, and I wanted to share it with other people to see if they could benefit from it as well. My hope is that this site will be a place where countless other people can do the same thing.
There are a lot of things I want to add to the site this year, but maybe I should talk about those more as they develop. For now, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s come to the site and especially those who have written comments, posted their own activities, sent helpful information, or helped out in any other way! Everything you do benefits an uncountable number of teachers and students!