We started planning the web upgrade from the point of view that the school needed a better web presence that what it had, and with the determination that pupils of the school would be extensively involved in its building and design. Many schools have had static sites (where each page is hand designed) and are now seeking to move to more dynamic sites where ease of update and better access to school resources is possible.
For a school to future proof its web, it must be looking to the future to allow the internet and intranet (seen as a digital library resource) to serve the school properly.
Factors to consider: Should keep in mind our vision. This is a .jpg of our vision of our pupil Linking Internet site to Intranet to allow onsite and offsite access to resource Allowing for possibility of OBL (Object based learning) Now often called "Learning Objects" (i.e. SCORM compliant) and XML development (i.e. product seems to have a history of development and future directions indicated). CSS management is also importnat as it allows you to change the look of a site in a global way as needed. Using technologies such as MySQL and othe database solutions need to be open-ended (yet secure) to allow for easy interchange/ import/export of information. Solutions should be scalable in size Solutions contain robust and easy to use levels of security. Checking how levels/groups existing in the organisation will change or be maintained within a web structure (teachers, admin staff, web authoring pupils, normal pupils will all require different levels of access) If commercial, then solution needs good support and knowledge infrastructure within New Zealand. Relatively affordable solution compared to enterprise solutions (large industry) Solution should integrate, where possible, with other database solutions in the school: library/curriculum/resource management/pupil management/alumni/accounting software Accept a wide range of file types and be able to search externally and internally on these Easy to implement by people with little HTML experience and/or time i.e. auto gallery and thumbnails of photos placed in photo archives, indexing automatically Pupil participation and content to be paramount. Curriculum innovation and learning needs to be met Consistency of design Analysing the information flow within the organisation. Aim to improve communication aspects of school life (i.e. calendars, email, conferences) between pupils, staff, parents and community Should reflect the "spirit/culture" of the school and reflect pupil/staff/parent and local community ideas and ideals Trials of any new software solutions need to follow our implementation flowchart from initial technical trial, "power users", trial with selected "non-tech" staff", to full implementation Amount of technical support needs to be allowed for and budgeted It is important to decide early if the school is going to invest in software to automate sections of the Internet/Intranet site. Creating a school Intranet/ Internet site has a large number of factors to consider. In summary these are to balance technical aspects with seeing this development as the "Information Store/ Library" of your school, wrapped in an "Is it easy to use?" and "Can it grow with our needs?". Today schools are seeking to eventually integrate their SMS (School management Systems/ Pupil Management Systems) with Internet Site (What all public can access) and Intranet Site (Internal Resources, available also via web) that groups associated with the school (pupil, parents, Teachers Boards, old pupils) , can gain access to. Hopefully within this is an LMS (Learning Management System) that gives access to learning objects and resources useful to all.
It is important to keep the end users in mind and to build with an eye for the future and for making things as simple as possible... updating names in ten different databases around the school is a hassel a teacher doesn't need if it can be solved by planning for in the beginning.
All the best in using this section to help you get started! Stage One Starting Temporary Makeover
The Static Start. The resources below sketch out some ideas used in my planning for a new web at our school which is still very much in development behind the scenes. We will be implementing the development in two stages. Firstly, a more static site with some possible form of Management System (i.e. Moodle) followed by a more heavy-duty integrated model that has the sophistication behind the scenes (database management) to make it easy to update and use for the communication purposes we desire.
Planning Full Site
(Concurrent to above)
Setting up suggestions for the specifications of the new web, considering the priorities of the school and with an eye to the future development of where we want to be.
Established intranet solutions for New Zealand schools are: Blackboard, Linux intranet solutions: (1) Smart Computing (2)Otago's Intranet Software Solution, Xerox documents, XSIQ. More recently systems such as Telecom's Schoolzone (which has an Australian CMS called, "" behind it) and other opensource projects such as, "Moodle" have gained in credence. The most recent market break in comes from "Ultranet" which we are using at Medbury Boys School. You can also base intranets on other systems such as the databases Filemaker Pro and MS Access.
It is vital to understand in this area that all of these technologies are in the "new growth" stage and so are just beginning to show where they are going and the possibilities. In a few years the scene may be very different with very different products and so being adaptive is very important.
As part of your planning get an update from an experienced ICT advisor or facilitator, who can outline for you the latest trends in online and ICT development.
Keep in mind these developing trends for instance:
Learning Objects Integrating Internet and Intranet resources with any PMS/SMS (pupil management system/ school management system), library management system Deciding how the security and flow of information can happen to: parents, pupils, staff, general public, government organisations and the various groups within each.