Web Content Guidelines for School Staff
Your website is important to the fulfillment of division and school goals! Digital communications with our web patrons is increasingly critical in our 21st Century society. While it will never replace person to person interactions, it can certainly help folks appreciate what we are doing, answer many questions, and avoid many problems.
There are a number of issues that staff should keep in mind as they develop web content:
- Keep your site current; give your readers reason to come back.
- Replace outdated information
- Post information of upcoming events, not just those in the past
- Update your site, while maintaining a consistent structure that readers can expect to see (it can be confusing when sites change their ‘look’ too severely too often)
- Post useful/important/interesting information
- Homework/Project/Event Calendars are VERY useful
- Add special announcements that complement calendar events or are just interesting/useful
- Photos are good! …a picture is worth a thousand words!
- Pics of Interest to viewers
- Pics that include students are better
- Close up is better—helps to focus attention, but also improves lighting
- Captions are good, but do not add captions that include student first and last names. It may be OK to mention first names from time to time, but try to compose the caption without using names at all.
- Keep pic file sizes below 100k, though 50k is better.
- Include student work! Give those budding authors, artists and musicians a larger audience! Seek permission from students to post their work online, as they may be sensitive to more personal content being distributed online—especially if they could be identified as the source.
- Involve the students! Get them to upload your photos, crop & resize webpics, write captions, write announcements, insert links, post calendar items, etc. But, yes, check their work! Could be an individual assignment/honor, small group activity or competition, whole class activity with LCD projector, etc.
- Work smarter: if you’re going to send something to the newspaper, chances are you already have what you need to add an interesting announcement/feature to your web site. Likewise, if you are updating your web page, why not copy the information to an email sent to the newspaper? Your featured information may also be useful as a personal portfolio item. Hey, how about posting a neat announcement or feature to the “In The News” feature on the division home page?
- Include links to outside sources of interest to web patrons. You may want to include curriculum/developmental links for students & parents or for either group.
- Your website will convey some of your personality, but you may find that a few autobiographical details may help your patrons connect with you. Conversely, too many details could possibly help a more devious individual cause problems with identity theft—staff should not include address, personal phone number, or too many details about where you live or about your family. Students should not post any personal details about themselves.
- Use information/web content from others with permission, and give credits to authors. Only use public domain clipart.