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Virtual school open day via school websites?

Discussion in 'Scotland - Primary' started by Schoolulike, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Can you help?
    How many schools really try to create a ‘virtual open day’ via the school website?
    Does your school add extra information, or even create a separate section of the school website for prospective pupils/parents?
    If so can you share some ideas?
  2. Can you help?
    How many schools really try to create a ‘virtual open day’ via the school website?
    Does your school add extra information, or even create a separate section of the school website for prospective pupils/parents?
    If so can you share some ideas?
  3. Most schools I've worked up barely keep their websites updated and nothing so fancy as a virtual open day.
  4. I think the school website is a valuable tool the school should use to communicate to users of school information - Parents, Pupils, new Pupils, new Teachers, especially in regards to open day information..... Some school sites cost a small fortune to set up, they should be used!
    Private schools are very good in this respect.
    If anyone needs any ideas in regards to the information content of the school website I can help?

  5. Thank your best wishes and for your comments, I appreciate the feedback.

    It is not our objective to make a fortune from schools, especially in current budget constraints. We are more than willing to negotiate on price, a valuable service to schools is our main concern.
    If you would like I can send you one of our reports ‘ideas how to improve your school website and information disclosure processes' - free of charge?
    You will then be able to see how we can help schools to use the website as a tool by which they can communicate valuable information to the outside world.

    In regards to your specific point of spending a great deal of time developing the site and updating it you will see from the information in our reports what can be done with much limited time and resources. Our reports detail recommendations for improvements to a school site and the ‘adding' of the recommendations can be done in a time efficient manner. Also the very nature of the information to be added to the site and disclosed by the school and the thought process behind the communication of information can make the exercise very time efficient. We help schools really ‘think' about how the site can paint a good picture of the school and how simple cost effective methods of communication of school information can be used - again detailed in our reports. At no cost in many cases, in very little time.

    Much of the information is already held by the school for existing reporting purposes. This along with the possibility of interacting the school website with pupil's studies and the involvement of parents (for instance) can make the site fun and can entice many return visitors to the site - former pupil's maybe, those in the local community? The school can also generate funds (I dare not say income) from the school website.

    The very nature of some of the additional information means that the school only needs to add the information once - a link to an external website (for instance)
    Anyway I can waffle on about school website all night, I am very passionate about this subject.

    Please email me (see website for email address, note replace Edward for info for my email address) and we can see how we can help you (no charge as stated)

    Many thanks
  6. In my authority (Aberdeenshire) we are trying to use Glow (yes, I know) as much as possible seeing as we've paid for it. It doesn't get to prospective parents - nor actual parents themselves as yet (in my CSN) - but it seems to be that there's not a culture of choice for parents - more a 'this is your local school and if you think it's not good then that's up to you' approach.
  7. I agree fully with the comments made and yes in many areas the choice of school is somewhat limited, but I believe school websites should be used for other functions, not just that of attracting/informing new pupils.

    The school website is the best tool to communicate to parents and all users of school information.

    During 2011 I have had many meeting with headteachers and ICT managers (or those looking after the school website)

    Below are what I believe to be the most important functions of a school website
    1 A school website should be a means by which the school can communicate to parents, the local community and other users of school information.
    2 School websites should provide a function to educate pupils and parents and be especially fun to use.
    3 The website should be used as a medium to inform parents about the basics of their children's education and information about the school - Disclosure should be made in a simple understandable manner, in basic English so parents don't need to become educationalists to understand the fundamentals of education.
    4 Information disclosure on the website should be informative enough to be used by potential new teachers and pupils - The school strengths can be disclosed on the website.
    5 It is a means by which the school can embrace and celebrate its past, present and future.
    6 The school can disclose on the website the direction in which it has come from, it currently stands and the aims for its future.
    7 The school website is an information disclosure vehicle to create closer links to the local community and beyond.
    Can anyone add to these?
    Have I missed anything?

  8. In the Primary school where I am a Governor we had the same problems of staff (teaching and office) not having the time, expertise (and in some cases probably the inclination) to keep our website uptodate. As you say this is fairly typical and not just in the Primary sector.
    When we looked round for a new provider, they all promised fantastic looking websites that could do loads, but basically just provided the tools and leave the school to do all the work themselves - which we knew wouldn't happen after the initial enthusiasm of setting up the website.
    We were fortunate to find a company (Sunburst Webmanagement) that not only helped plan what should go on the site, but looks after it too. The staff simply email pictures, newsletters etc. and they do the rest...they even keep an eye on stuff that goes out of date and prompt us if we haven't sent anything for a while.
    18 months on we are still pleased with the results and I think it costs less than the report and assesment mentioned in Flyonthewall's post

  9. Sorry, meant to include:
    One of the things we wanted with our new website was to make it a showcase for the school precisely to try to attract more pupils (and staff). Sunburst knew about school website and looked at what information was to be included on the site and how it was presented so the website shows the school as a living, vibrant place that people want to come to.
    We learnt from the process of commissioning and producing the new site (I was the governor tasked with organising the new site) was that putting a good website together/ presenting information on the web is a different skillset and it is worth employing someone with those skills to get something that actually works, rather than just tick the box of having a school website
  10. Seems like the original post has been hijacked by a couple of companies.
  11. I have tried to set my school website up so that the audience for the website is new and prospective parents/staff. It has taken a long time to set up so I have it so that I only update the content once or twice a year. The site is packed with info, including video clips that show a year in the life of the school - so a sort of virtual open day.
    We use our school blog differently; its audience is the parents. It's quick to amend and allows viewers to comment. We are also planning to have parents on Glow by the summer.

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