When it comes to web publishing, every school in our overly-large school district is an island.
Every school (and most offices) has someone called a “curator” who has an extra duty as the sole gatekeeper for what appears on their little part of the web.
As a result, the quality of content on our sites varies wildly between each building, and chaotic is probably too lenient a term for the overall look and feel for our system’s web presence.
In a post on his blog, Seth Godin presents a long list of questions that need to be answered before renovating a web site.
While his target is corporate and marketing sites, I wish our curators would ask some of the same questions of their principals and staff, not to mention themselves.
Of course, they include the usual/obvious ones like “What is the goal of the site?” and “Who are we trying to please?”
However I think two of Godin’s suggestions are among the most important for schools to consider.
- Are we telling a story?
- Are we hoping that people will watch or learn?
I hope the answer to both is yes.
School web sites should be telling the many different stories of the kids and teachers that happen every day inside the classrooms.
And they should certainly be places where people can come to “watch and learn”.