The Info Hub Set
Our view is that a website should be an information hub, a central repository of the information that makes a school work: information about courses, teachers, assignments, extracurriculars, social events, policies, room reservations and so on. Accessible to all from anywhere at any time, a school website is the natural information hub.
Why do so many school Web sites fall short of the information hub goal?
Nearly every school has a Web site these days. But why do so many fall short of the information hub goal? Why do we see so many school Web sites with out-of-date information? Why do we see so many school Web sites with only the most generic information: address, perhaps a faculty list and a calendar of school holidays and vacations?
Why? Because it’s hard. It doesn’t have to be so hard, but the way most school websites are set up and managed, it is hard. Because it’s hard, information on the site often becomes neglected. Neglect leads to calendars, faculty lists and other information becoming out-of-date. Because it’s hard, webmasters and administrators are reluctant to put very much information on the site. The more information that’s out there, the more there is to maintain, so the more there is to neglect. Because it’s hard, many schools have all requests for changes to the site funnel through one person: the webmaster. As well intentioned and hard-working as he or she is, it’s easy to overwhelm a webmaster as a website grows in complexity. In spite of the webmaster’s Herculean efforts, the site remains limited in scope or sections start to suffer from neglect.
Technology is supposed to help. Why is it made so hard?
Most of the people who want to exchange information through a website have no interest in web technology whatsoever. They don’t want to learn HTML. They don’t want to learn how to FTP (transfer files) from their computer to a Web site. They don’t want to know how to reformat a photo to conform to a website’s design standards. They don’t even want to know what the standards are. But they do want to post assignments for their classes or make class handouts available or make the SAT testing schedule available or make parent consent forms available or make a gallery of photos of Friday night’s football game available. Several technologies are required to do these things.
There are typically three choices: 1) everyone can learn the various needed technologies, 2) all the info can be sent to the (often overworked) webmaster to be entered and deleted when he or she has time or 3) these folks can learn to simply live without: don’t post assignments and handouts online, don’t put SAT testing schedules on the Web site, don’t use the Web site for consent forms, don’t bother to try to put photos of the daily school experience out for others to enjoy. That is how so many school websites fall short of the information hub goal. Difficulties wear us down. Difficulties induce us to accept less than what we hoped the website would deliver.
Technology to make it easy.
Our Info Hub Set of tools makes it easy for each of your staff members to update his or her corner of the website quickly and easily. When it's quick and easy, people will use it. When they use it, your website become the complete and timely information hub that it is meant to be.
Contact us today.