Web Site Design and Management

Panelists

Jeff Huggin, Snoqualmie District: Dreamweaver, ASP, Access, IIS

Mike Stewart, Mt. Angel School District: Win 2k3, Dreamweaver

Austin James, Redmond District (OR): hosted solution (SchoolWires)

Jeff Dobbs, Beaverton: wrote a custom content management system (Oracle)

Mike Finstrom, Highline District (WA): custom CMS the supports Dreamweaver and Contribute

How did you go about determining what systems you would use?

Found experienced developer at the ESD.

Developed culture of people who embraced content management system. Now looking at Sharepoint for next iteration. Allows for both novice and advanced users.

Mandate from superintendent that every teacher would have a web page, and look and feel would be consistent. Moved to a hosted solution. Teachers focus on posting content rather than what color it would be. Hosted solution was equal in cost to licenses for Frontpage.

Ease of use a huge barrier to buy-in: from Frontpage to MS Word to emailing items to tech department. Currently a voluntary system who send content to tech director via email.

Cost considerations, Puget Sound ESD developers built different modules for administrative functions.

How many staff members in your department are dedicated to web?

Communications person is the key, tech staff devote small fractions to site. ESD helps with back-end tweaks.

One small fraction.

Office staff already typing this content for newsletters. Just have to copy and paste into web interface. Does switching and routing for district, does not devote much time to web site. Does CSS, HTML, graphic development (1-2 days per month).

Web content staff member. Who owns the web site? IT department or others? Distribute stake in the web site. They are going to have to enforce policy, IT trains and supports.

3 of 5 district communications staff devoted to web site. Each district has a web manager. HR posts jobs, contract changes. One SQL developer. Goal of 1000 contributors. Moodle didn’t extend. Randy Orwin has hacked it to extent.

How many teachers are maintaining sites?

Web-publishing through FirstClass — a lot of teachers were initially turned off by it. A number of teachers have gone out on their own. Working with ESDs to facilitate blogs, wikis, and web pages. Union prevents requiring teachers to create web pages. Receives blog requests daily. Biggest issue is support. Planning to use Drupal for teachers. (Beaverton)

Will have 100% by next year, per superintendent. Top goal is communication/contact information.

25% on teacher web sites daily. One teacher records lessons every day and posts them on web site.

Made it fun and easy, focused on content.

Biggest challenges

Support and training is very taxing on district resources. Space is a huge consideration, as all content teachers use now go into the database.

Training.

Administration wants more professional-looking web site with zero budget.

Other issues

Posting links to off-site content (okay with panelists)

Pictures of students online: centralized permissions to one form, to allow blanket ability to show many pictures on web site. Want to centralize permission for student academic work next.

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