What software did you use to create your site?
I currently use
Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and
Microsoft Expression Web
to create and manage the pages of mrcoley.com. I make all of my major site
changes from my home computer using FrontPage and Expression Web, but I also use
Adobe Contribute at school to update daily homework assignments and The
Daily Blog. Contribute is a wonderful piece of software that allows users to
easily update websites from remote
locations. My clip art and images come from
Microsoft Office Online,
Wikimedia Commons, and
Iconspedia. Some of the other resources I
Windows Movie Maker
Prism Video Converter
SD750 Digital Camera
Logitech USB Headset
I have purchased most of my software
JourneyEd and Computer Products
for Education, two terrific websites offering substantial
educational discounts on most popular software titles. In addition to
having great prices, I have found the customer service and delivery times
to be outstanding. I would highly recommend these sites for your future
did it take to create your site?
I first published my
site at the beginning of the 1999/2000 school year as part of the final
project for my masters degree. It began as a
very simple site, featuring basic subject matter pages, student artwork, and
an "About the Teacher" page. Over the years, I've gathered
new ideas and added new pages
and features to the site, resulting in what you see now.
How do you create your classroom's podcast?
I began podcasting with my class midway through the
2005/2006 school year, and I absolutely love it! I highly recommend
giving it a try with your students. Visit my
Podcasting Resources page
for more information, helpful links, and tutorial videos.
How do you run your classroom economy?
For more information on how I run my
classroom economy, visit the
Classroom Economy Frequently Asked Questions page.
visitors does your site get?
Believe it or not, mrcoley.com
gets over a thousand visitors each week, most from outside of
Murrieta. In addition to students and
parents from our own classroom, we get visitors from all over
the United States, Canada, England, and even as far away as New Zealand and Australia!
At last count, our website has had visitors from all 50 states and 101 foreign
Can I use some of your ideas on my own classroom
Please feel free to borrow ideas you see on mrcoley.com and use
in your classroom or on your classroom website. I love sharing
resources and ideas with other teachers (it's one of the goals for my site).
That being said, I firmly believe that educators need to share and borrow in
the appropriate way. Plagiarism is not something we accept from our
students, and it shouldn't be something we as educators practice. If you decide to
borrow an idea and include it on your website, I ask that you include a link back to my site and that you don't copy
and paste my exact wording, formatting, and graphics. I have spent
years building my site and crafting the text on its pages, so to see it copied and
pasted onto another site as someone else's original work is extremely frustrating,
not to mention illegal. In short, feel free to borrow the ideas,
but please give credit where credit is due, and make it reflect your site and not mine.
For many years, my school district
graciously hosted mrcoley.com on its Web
server. I recently decided to move my site to Blue Host (www.bluehost.com).
In doing some research, I found many quality website hosting
services out there. Blue Host was a good match for me
because it offers unlimited hosting space and bandwidth,
includes a free domain name, is inexpensive ($7.95 per month),
has excellent customer service, and is free of
How were you able to
obtain the Web address mrcoley.com?
You can purchase domain names for
around $10 per year through a number of online registrars like GoDaddy.com.
When I hosted my site on my school district's server, I purchased the domain
name mrcoley.com and set it up
so visitors who typed www.mrcoley.com would be redirected to my location on
the district's server. If you have a website with a long,
hard-to-remember address, I highly recommend purchasing a domain name and
redirecting it to your website -- your visitors will thank you! My
site is now hosted with Blue Host (www.bluehost.com),
so the site has an actual address of www.mrcoley.com.
Do you need
parent permission to publish student work?
Yes. Since material
published on the Web can be seen by the world, I obtain permission from
parents before I publish student work to the website. At the beginning of
each school year, I send home an
Website Consent Form which details exactly how student work will be displayed.
I have chosen not to display students' pictures (for potential
security reasons), and their work is accompanied by the students' first
names (and occasionally last initials when students share the same first
your students help you construct your pages?
My students do not help in the
construction of pages, but they do provide the content for some
of the pages. Students write articles for The
Daily Blog, create artwork for the art
pages, and write the scripts for and lend their voices to
ColeyCasts. You can see examples of their work by visiting the Student Work page.
do you find the time to maintain your website?
It's definitely one of my passions. It does take
a good deal of time to maintain mrcoley.com, but I don't look at it
as work. For me, it's fun. When I was young, I wanted to be a computer
programmer. I've always loved
working with computers, so building and maintaining the site has been an
opportunity for me to combine two of my loves -- teaching and technology.
you have any advice for creating a classroom website?
Start small. Rome wasn't built in a
day, and neither are good websites. And don't try to reinvent the
wheel. Find ideas for your site by surfing the Web for good examples
of other teachers' sites. Just make sure you give credit where credit
is due. Here's a list of some of the excellent
classroom sites I've come across. If you're short on time,
two great resources for creating a classroom website are
Both are Web-based services that help you create a website in a matter of
minutes, without having to know how to use any special software.
Weebly is free, and TeacherWeb charges $39 per year (you can also try it free, with no obligation, for one month). Quantity
discounts are available. If you're wanting to get something online
quickly, these two options are great places to start.
Do you give presentations/workshops?
Yes! I love helping teachers learn how to use technology in their classrooms.
I have presented at the district, regional, and state level.
Here are the presentations/workshops I offer:
Technology: Without Why, How Is Irrelevant
Too often, new technology tools are introduced to teachers in
a "how-to" format, without first giving them a reason to use
these new tools. Presentations like this leave teachers
thinking, "That's a great tool, but how does it apply to my classroom?" Let Brent inspire your teachers as he shares some
of the "whys," as well as several specific "ways" teachers can
use educational technology in their classrooms.
45-minute keynote presentation
Podcasts and iPod Flash Cards: Study Tools for the 21st Century
Don’t compete with iPods and the Internet, technology that
constantly vies for your students’ attention.
Harness the tools that students already own and use on a daily
basis. Learn from a classroom teacher how to easily create
podcasts and iPod flash cards to help students review material
and study for tests. Classroom examples, video tutorials,
and web links will be provided. Don’t let technology get
in the way of your students studying - make it
of their studying!
presentation or 2˝-hour
Extreme Makeover: Classroom Website Edition
You already have a classroom website, but now you want to take
it to the next level. Learn from an experienced teacher
how to transform your website by incorporating dynamic,
practical, and easy-to-implement ideas. See how adding
elements like audio, video, widgets, and student contests/clubs
can not only provide your visitors with quality information, but
a reason to return to your site again and again. The cost?
Nothing but a little time since all of the ideas covered in this
presentation can be implemented using already-installed software
or free web resources!
Below are some of the
conferences at which I've recently presented.
(Technology, Education, Leading, Learning) Conference 2010
October 9, 2010
Van Nuys, California
(Computer-Using Educators) Conference 2010
March 4-6, 2010
Palm Springs, California
Computing Educators) Conference 2010
February 23-26, 2010
St. Charles, Illinois
(Technology, Education, Leading, Learning) Conference 2009
October 24, 2009
Van Nuys, California
(Computer-Using Educators) Conference 2009
March 5-7, 2009
Palm Springs, California
If you are interested in having me come to
your school, district, or conference to make a presentation or conduct a
please contact me
here. Since I am in the classroom full-time, my
availability is limited during the school year, but I would love
to try and schedule a time to work with you and