Unintended Effects of Created Resources

One of the first things that I wanted to do this year as a technology integration specialist was to create a simple Google Site that would contain resources and links for teachers at my high school.  The only purpose was to have a place that I could collect and sort out resources and tips for teachers when it came to technology integration.  My audience was the 80 or so teachers at our high school and possibly some of our middle school teachers too.

I did not expect that my site would get much traffic from outside of Ames, let alone from outside of the United States.  By using Google Analytics I have been able to keep track of how many people visit my site and from where.  I mostly use Google Analytics to gauge how often people from my own school visit the site.  Most of the visits, over 79% of the visits have been from the United States but that leaves around 20% of the visits from people outside of the United States.  (Now I know there is a chance that some of these visits could be from computer programs and not real people, but I have to believe that not all of them are digital creations.)

Looking at the stats below, you can see that in 2nd place is the U.K. and that is followed by a close contest between Canada and Israel.  I do enjoy looking at the stats and seeing the number of visits increase throughout the month, but I wonder how much people are taking away from my site.  It is easy to find out with the staff that I work with, as they will usually provide me with feedback but I do wonder how useful my site is to others.

While I am proud of my site so far, it is by far the best looking site that I have created on Google Sites, there is a lot left to do.  I am constantly adding content to the site and having to change things as there becomes more and more to handle.  It can not become a static thing, it has to change as the needs and wants of the teachers that I work with change.  The important thing is to make sure that it stays organized and is an efficient tool for others to use.  The minute that this tool becomes ineffective or inefficient, it is time to modify the tool or use a new one.  This should be the same strategy that we use in the classroom.

It is nice that something that I created for my purpose is being used by others.  This same thing happened with my Flipped Classroom.  The resources and videos that I created for my students were not just being used by my students.  Since I made everything public, that meant that any other student could access and use them.  Although the focus of the resources was for my specific classroom, they could be useful for other people as well.  I know that even though I am no longer using these resources, my site and my videos on YouTube are still getting hits and are being watched to this day.  That is a very nice, unintended consequence of the work that I did for my students is helping others.

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