Training is one key success factor for our new website. Since June, I have personally led 15 group training sessions on how to post content to the new website, and a handful of us have worked with individuals to answer questions and help them accomplish their website goals. Divisions heads have required teachers to update certain parts of the website, such as classroom pages and our curriculum map.
49 users have been trained as “content managers.” I required employees to get this training before allowing them to edit core pages on the site. Teachers could gain access to classroom pages without attending a training, though many benefitted from doing so. The carrot worked, as many users got a more thorough introduction to the site than might have been the case had I not required it to gain access. Incidentally, I allow trained content managers to edit just about any part of the site — the more eyes, the better!
86 users have posted 1,500 pages to the website, not including me! (I have posted another 7,000, mostly by migrating our curriculum map and school archives into the site.) Most of the 86 users are employees, but a handful of parents (volunteer coordinators, parents of athletes) and students (science project and honors arts bloggers) have been active.
I feel like one has a limited window of opportunity when launching a new technology to hold people’s attention, build their skills, and solve issues with the setup. Today, people largely find the site easy to use and like the appearance. A limited number of exceptions exist, of course.
The website tour video has been viewed 437 times. The video outlined the main features of the site for users. Not everyone can attend a training, especially parents. We promoted the video through a home page badge and by reference in school newsletters. I can’t say how much the video has helped parents and students learn to use the site, but I imagine it has helped some.