Alberta & BC Rockies Computers: Designing a School Web Site

Schools should have web sites for a couple of reasons: inform parents, inform students, and showcase its talent (both students and teachers) and its community contribution. The importance and priority of these differs with each school, school board, and community based on its individual needs.

These comments apply to the school board's :official" page for a school as well as for the school's own, often student-designed, website.

Basic Features to have

FoundLocally has reviewed literally hundreds of web sites and has found a couple of key elements that are important to a good web site:

Most Annoying Features / Omissions

Here are things that I have found most annoying about school's (and school board's) web sites:

Remember these are only basic guidelines, designed to make schools web sites a focal point for schools, students and parents, with the ability to improve the learning process for all involved.

Use all the tools out there

Schools can no longer use the excuse "we don't have anyone qualified to update the website". There are so many easy-to-use tools out there for creating websites or pseudo-websites. Every school should be able to create a dynamic and easy to update website using FaceBook, or any publicly accessible blog or wiki software. Many of these are free to use, and can be run either on the designers environment or downloaded to run on your own (or the school board's web servers). More importantly, these environments make it easy for form-based web page updating, easy uploading of multi-media resources, like photos, music and video. All have the ability to setup multiple authorized users, so the website is not "held hostage" by one teacher or their opinions. Her are some website to check out for software resources:

If a school has implementation questions, they should contact the IT department at the school board, or ask their students if any parents have the technical skills to set up a blog, wiki or Facebook page so that it can be updated and administered by the school's teachers.

By: Mark Ruthenberg, General Manager
TransCanada FoundLocally Inc.

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