Pageflakes is a customizable start page that allows you to add small widgets or flakes that can display custom content. They have recently launched a prepopulated page designed for teachers.
Default layout of the Teacher’s Pageflakes page
The default items on the page include a teaching timetable, a calendar, email, online file storage, some educational bookmarks, photos tagged education, a todo list and a google search box.
The email can be linked with most major webmail services, and the calendar can import an iCal calendar, so that means it will sync with Google Calendar for instance.
Everything can be customized, and there are literally hundreds of other flakes you can add.
Downsides are that the timetable is only for a one week repeating schedule – schools I have worked at have a two week timetable, so I wouldn’t be able to use that aspect of it.
I already use firefox extensions for checking gmail, though a smaller look at my calendar would be useful.
All in all, a good idea, but not sure I would use it. For people who don’t already use RSS feeds etc then it’s brilliant – very accessible for the average user.