As I update format on my CNA site, which combines a few other web tools, I think it is still in the future to convert to mostly my own dedicated server site again. The biggest issue with making use of other web applications to build a site is being at the mercy of those other web programmers. I would not have to change near as much up to now if these sites had not changed their tools so much.
However, changes are not near as frequent as they used to be when they were new tools. Google Docs & Forms, Keep & Share, Study Stack, and YouTube have been my mainstays, and even when I totally program my own site, I may still find use for these. I will think twice about letting my paid Keep & Share account go as no such account as I have exists anymore and definitely not at as good of a price. I regret not making use of the google business account when it was free, and I knew I would regret it in that it would not be free forever (unless one got in early like I did with Keep & Share’s first paid accounts guaranteed price for life). There were bumps along the way in using these sites for my businesses, but I always adjusted for the benefit of having free secure link.
Yes, what led me to Keep & Share in the first place was the security. I was having issues with that when I had my own dedicated server. Student emails addresses being spied and utilized, someone redirecting my site to a phony site, and there may have been another issue or two, but those were the main ones. I even totally shut down my site and started a new one and still eventually had it happen again. Luckily, I was always one to have back-up for everything, ie class was always up and running.
Google, Keep & Share, and Study Stack were free back-up for me in the beginning. Security is primarily what prompted me to give up some control for security. Though there were little glitches and changes in their systems, especially in the beginning, I did not have to worry about someone blind-sidedly hijacking my site, deaming it nonfunctional, for any significant time period, nor did I have to worry about student’s emails being spied, stolen, and used to infect their computers, etc.
Two or three other things kept me with those online applications. That was lack of time and money to: learn more advanced programming and to warrant a more expensive encrypted site. The market for what I was doing in all of my businesses, including CNA training, was small and remains small. State regulations in Montana do not require CNA training for many areas of NA care. There is a known history of CNA training required to be “free,” paid by government dollars, and NA wages are low, especially in those many areas not requiring training to work.
I believe web evolution has hopefully changed how states “approve” CNA training programs, ie “approve’ online training curriculums for use in State “approved” training programs. I believe that has been taking place in the last few years since I left Montana, but when I was ahead of the game when I was there, and I did not quite fit the system, especially since I was not part of the LTCF or college systems. I have always known I would probably eventually opt to not worry about “approval” in just maintaining a curriculum meeting federal standards for others to utilize, whether it be for individual State “approval” or for individuals to prepare for certification regardless of other “approved” CNA education, especially since a handful of states allow challenging their State CNA certification exams.
I believe my site may be of more use in the future as the current zillions of “CNA” sites that were only created for collecting web ad advertising dollars. Many have come and gone, and I assume that is because many are not continuously updated and there are so many, just there to collect money, not there first and foremost for CNA education. As CNA education takes hold as an education, worth paying to have have just as any other trade, and in all states, then so will my site be worth more.
Today, I need to finish up with what minor updating I am going to do on the CNA “site,” which is mostly a matter of adjusting to new Google forms. I have vowed to not give up my paid Keep & Share and to not totally dump all of the work I put into CNA materials, but I will put more control into it by programming my own dedicated server with exams, games, and audio/visuals, but a certain amount of what I have will remain in use at least as “back-up” as in the early days of my CNA site. They are good, well-established, refined, inexpensive tools by today’s standards as proven by my 12 + years of using and evolving with them. However, for growth and autonomy, I will continue to look toward developing (programming) my own SECURE mirror image of that site as the primary CNA site.