+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Web Development Thread, New school website ideas? in Coding and Web Development; Hi All, I have just come out of a very long, mostly boring, marketing strategy meeting. My topics of discussion ...
  1. #1
    reggiep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    In the vast area of space and time
    Posts
    1,550
    Thank Post
    518
    Thanked 56 Times in 50 Posts
    Rep Power
    30

    New school website ideas?

    Hi All,
    I have just come out of a very long, mostly boring, marketing strategy meeting.
    My topics of discussion were how we could freshen up our school's website by getting a professional designer to get involved and to ensure it is updated on a regular basis.
    Also I mentioned creting a twitter account so we could inform parents of events and also let them know via something like feed burn (?) that the website has been updated.

    So I am after anyone else's experience lately of these sort of issues and if getting a professional in helped?


  2. #2

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,054
    Thank Post
    1,862
    Thanked 2,320 Times in 1,711 Posts
    Rep Power
    824
    It very much depends on experience and skills within your school.

    Here we have decided to go for the professional solution having undergone a thorough overhaul of our marketing strategy. Until the end of last year, I was doing all our publicity work, but as the job grew, I just couldn't fit it in and asked to drop it. It never was part of my job description, I got the job because I knew how to layout the ads for the publication and am good at putting spin on news to interest the local papers. We have now recruited someone who job is the marketing (2 days a week) and I oversee.

    Our website is very tired and is being re-designed as we speak. The skill set here meant that getting the edugeek joomla package off the ground wasn't an option in the end.

    We will have an RSS feed on the front page of the new site. At present we are using twitter and it is very effective. It is used for all sorts of announcements, such as today's "Swimming cancelled", last week's announcment of how much we raised for Readathon and the snow closure messages round Christmas.

    I think we will contuinue to use twitter as our parents like it. Not everyone has a twitter account to follow us, but many have simply bookmarked our page. It's free, so we may as well continue with it. I have noticed that the local newspapers have started following our feeds, so I am quick to get "good news" announcements on there!

    We also use ParentMail for parent communication.

    TBH no one method is perfect, so having a variety means you are more likely to keep the parents informed.

  3. Thanks to elsiegee40 from:

    reggiep (23rd March 2010)

  4. #3
    reggiep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    In the vast area of space and time
    Posts
    1,550
    Thank Post
    518
    Thanked 56 Times in 50 Posts
    Rep Power
    30
    Can anyone suggest any school websites they have or have seen that stand out in what the do and how they do it?

    Thanks

  5. #4

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,054
    Thank Post
    1,862
    Thanked 2,320 Times in 1,711 Posts
    Rep Power
    824
    PM sent

  6. #5

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,054
    Thank Post
    1,862
    Thanked 2,320 Times in 1,711 Posts
    Rep Power
    824
    Another freebie we've been using is photos on google maps/earth.

    We have a school Panoramio - Photos of the World account and have submitted photos of the school and places in the locality that don't yet feature...

    Those looking at the photos through google maps will see that the photos were taken by Our School and the web link is to our school website

    In our case, some keen staff photographers have set it up. In secondaries, it might be an appropriate project for Art A Level students, a club or an Extension Activity

  7. #6
    jmair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    284
    Thank Post
    63
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    Rep Power
    16
    [warning - Wall of text]
    I feel that we have a pretty decent website. I use Joomla and it's actually full of customs scripts for our not-so-computer savvy staff. Such as, I have a shared drive on using active directory (the W: drive) for each staff member, that w: drive is mapped to a folder on the web server that is displayed under that teachers staff page as Shared Documents. I found this to be a very very simple way for staff to share files with the world. I also have a php script that pulls information from an excel spread and displays it in the Educators section of the site. This is great for a secretary who updates a Sub list so the staff can always see the most recent sub list.. Simple ideas, but functional.

    Instead of having individual schools for our site (as our k-12 is small) our site targets PARENTS - STAFF - STUDENTS. this sounds obvious, but you'll notice many district/school sites don't target students or don't target staff.

    I've also found the hardest part of maintaining our website (and we're very very small compared to most districts) is getting the staff from all areas to forward information to be placed on the website. When events will happen, when events are canceled, when testing starts or stops, sports scores, sports schedules, administrative files, employment information, photos, etc.. That's the hard part.. Because I personally don't think a full time employee could gather all the information daily that needs to be updated keep the site interesting and current. Then there's the School Board meeting info and the policy changes and of course I'm always the last to know about Bus route changes..

    Anyhow, I think the site is a wonderful thing if it's updated daily by one person, but that information must come from all of the staff. Their job is to provide info and use it themselves , your job to copy/paste the info and maintain/backup the server. That's how I view it.

  8. #7
    speckytecky's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,572
    Thank Post
    3,504
    Thanked 287 Times in 216 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    116
    One I have seen that stands out is Christ Church C of E Primary School, Hanham | HomePage

    Clearly someone spends a LOT of time on developing and keeping it up to date.

    Quote Originally Posted by reggiep View Post
    Can anyone suggest any school websites they have or have seen that stand out in what the do and how they do it?

    Thanks

  9. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hants
    Posts
    54
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
    Rep Power
    12
    Have a word with E4education (e4education.co.uk) - they do some cracking websites and can arrange budget to suit.

    If you tell them you're a ParentMail customer you'll get 10% discount on their quote (but don't say I told you)

  10. #9

    SimpleSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    5,829
    Thank Post
    1,476
    Thanked 594 Times in 446 Posts
    Rep Power
    169
    Some websites look good - some are good

    You need to decide what your website is for Publicity/Attract new pupils/parents, logistical Information to exisiting pupil/parents or celebration/reporting of events in the school.

    I've a small school that is over-subscribed that has know need to attract new pupils so the website is simply a celebration of what the pupils do/information repositry for parents (Holiday dates - upcoming events etc).

    I've got another school with falling roles where the headteacher is using the website as part of the stragetgy to boost intake by showing all the awards they get and the wonderful things happening at the school.

    I've another school, that to be frank, seems to want to keep the parents at arm's length (answerphone type school) and uses the website to as a communication route with copies of ALL letters home and don't really use it to celebrate childrens work.

    Now if you need publicity to attract new pupils/parents - then a professional designed website might be considered value for money but if you don't and just need one for communication/celebration then practically anything will do (as per speckytechy's link )

    IMO - the best way to communicate electronically with parents, at the moment, is via SMS but it costs

    regards

    Simon

  11. Thanks to SimpleSi from:

    speckytecky (27th March 2010)

  12. #10

    glennda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    7,821
    Thank Post
    272
    Thanked 1,140 Times in 1,036 Posts
    Rep Power
    350
    Quote Originally Posted by marshharrier View Post
    Have a word with E4education (e4education.co.uk) - they do some cracking websites and can arrange budget to suit.

    If you tell them you're a ParentMail customer you'll get 10% discount on their quote (but don't say I told you)
    My schools site is an e4education site - its really good and there admin interface is really good.

    you can see ours from clicking on the school name <<

  13. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    I think a blog about the school and other related educational documents can really attract traffic from Google. Need to set up one myself at some point but trying to make something that integrates nicely is where the times going to be I think.

    Oh also don't forget to have your front page updating by some sort of automated feed process (perhaps the last ten blog entries). This will let google know you actually update it and it's not just stale.

  14. #12
    paulst30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    20
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    The problem with professional web companies is because they know you need it they charge you a fortune. We were quoted £25k for changing this site Untitled Document and we just cant justify that. However that was for a content management system too.

    If you can do it yourself, go for it, because you have overall control of its layout. We bought this site in years ago and its so tightly packed there is no room for anything new.

  15. #13
    dayzd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    In front of computer
    Posts
    408
    Thank Post
    77
    Thanked 61 Times in 49 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by jmair View Post
    I've also found the hardest part of maintaining our website (and we're very very small compared to most districts) is getting the staff from all areas to forward information to be placed on the website. When events will happen, when events are canceled, when testing starts or stops, sports scores, sports schedules, administrative files, employment information, photos, etc.. That's the hard part..
    I feel your pain.

    Our site was recently broken down page by page and responsibility for it's content handed out to the relevant people. I.E. if page X is out of date, it's person Y's fault.

    This resulted in a big push of updates for a couple of weeks, but in the last couple of months has died down to nothing again. Not even all the letters that get sent home to parents are sent to me for the site!

  16. #14

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    130
    Thank Post
    39
    Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    29
    I have recently completed a redesign of our website which was looking a bit tired. I've tried to make the regular updates as easy as possible, hence there is a twitter feed on the front page in a widget from a website called WidgetBox.

    Also, our main news pages, and sports pages, are actually an embedded Wordpress blog. This means that we can give over control of these elements to non-technical staff who can do most of the updating themselves, without risking destroying the whole website!

    Take a look at: Mascalls Website

    PS - It looks pretty rubbish in IE6, but I've been keeping an eye on our stats and only 4% of our visitors still use it so I'm not going to make too much of an effort to sort it out.

  17. #15

    Hightower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cloud 9
    Posts
    4,920
    Thank Post
    494
    Thanked 690 Times in 444 Posts
    Rep Power
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    One I have seen that stands out is Christ Church C of E Primary School, Hanham | HomePage

    Clearly someone spends a LOT of time on developing and keeping it up to date.
    That site is absolutely lifting! I mean, it is seriously a design nightmare. It might be kept up to date but it's a horrible site to look at.



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Ideas for a ICT Club at a secoundary school!
    By HTCIT in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 27th October 2009, 02:23 PM
  2. [PHP] School Intranet ideas
    By thesk8rjesus in forum Web Development
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 16th September 2009, 10:43 PM
  3. Ideas about streaming school events?
    By sidewinder in forum General Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19th March 2009, 07:50 PM
  4. School website
    By danIT in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 26th June 2006, 07:14 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •