Last week, I noted some interesting developments involving Drupal and secondary schools.
NewSchoolyard launched at NAIS, promising inexpensive school Drupal sites built on a template. This fills a hole in the school website market between buying an expensive product, hiring an expensive developer, and doing it completely yourself. In addition, New Schoolyard offers products and services at different price points, allowing schools to decide how much of the work they want to take on themselves or hand over to this company.
If successful, New Schoolyard may open the door even wider for more schools to adopt open-source websites and learn how to modify them. I greatly anticipate the first sites they will create and the code that they promise to contribute to the Drupal community. I have found in my own work with Drupal that it is a challenge to create a customized site that others can then truly make their own. I wonder what strategies New Schoolyard will employ to make full ownership possible for their clients.
Around for a while but flying under the radar, DrupalSchools.net is readying for a relaunch. Go check out their list of Drupal sites, tips and tricks, and thoughts on the potential role of Drupal in changing how schools work. This site promises to serve the secondary school community and put the thoughtful use of technology before techie talk. Also check out my list of school “front door” Drupal sites that I started in 2007 and have added to a bit over time.
More interest in our work
The frequency of inquiries into our work at Catlin Gabel continues to increase. Some of these schools are tinkering with demo Drupal sites, others are launching a community intranet, and others are moving toward a new, public-facing website. More schools are discovering the benefits of working with a piece of open-source software before committing to it and sharing their knowledge and perspectives gained.