Discover more from Technology Should Be Simple
This post is part of an ongoing series of chapters from the book CHOICE. Please view this post for an introduction and table of contents. To keep up with each new chapter published, please subscribe.
A well built website is necessary to have a digitally forward district.
With every student and staff having a device they will need access to a shared resource. A modern and well organized website will act as a home page for district devices. The primary communication platform, and a central information repository.
Invest in a modern platform to build your website and a strategy to keep it updated. This takes an investments of time and planning. And yes, an investment of money if you need to outsource some of the time and planning.
A great website can be built in house with open source software. In fact, most the top performing websites in the world are build on open source software. You don't have to pay a fortune for the best software.
An even more important part to building the website is keeping it current. A website is a constantly evolving and changing content source. It should be where everyone (students, staff, administrators, parents, and community members) go to find information.
Nothing is worse than going to a districts website to find content that has not changed since the site was first built 7 years ago. Even if a few pages are out of date, it removes the credibility from the rest of the content on the website. It's a trust relationship with the website visitor.
Have a website to act as a homepage for your district. The primary source of information. Then have a commitment to keep it that way. Administrators, technology staff, principals, and staff need to work together to do this.
Have a way for multiple stakeholders to update the site. Either directly or through a request form. But make it simple and encourage people as much as possible.
This is the digital face of your school district. Make a good first impressions.
Providing a peak behind the curtain of the thought and writing process.
I purposely left this chapter vague on the technology aspect. As someone that worked in web development for many years, I have some strong opinions on what technology to use. But the reality is there are many great solutions available to schools now (both paid and free).
I advocate for an open source solutions, but that’s not always an option to a school district. You need a technology department that is willing and able to maintain the actual code of the website. Sometimes is just easier and more practical to pay a company for this solution.
What software do you use for building a website? Do you have any examples of well done school websites? Please share in the comments.