CR Reviews Your School's Web Site. (Technology Update)

Article excerpt

This month: Unity School District, Balsam Lake, WI

URL: http://www.unity.k12.wi.us

Comments: "Our site has been redesigned this year with a strong emphasis on keeping the site relevant and up to date," writes Technology Integration Specialist Maryanne Frawley. "This is a K-12 school district Web site, for a small, rural community in Wisconsin. The number of students in our school is approximately 1,000. Our site counter, which counts unique hits only, is over 51,000.

"The site strives to fulfill the tri-purpose of providing useful information to the students (elementary, middle and high school), the staff and teachers, as well as the community and world beyond. Our commitment is to involve students in the production and upkeep of the site, while keeping the pages relevant and up-to-date.

"The main pages of the site have been designed, with student input, into a "template" format in order to allow the information and pictures to be updated in a timely fashion. A high school Web-page class works with the Webmaster to update the content, and uses their creativity to design and maintain the other sections of the site (club and activity pages, special projects, etc.). A search feature and a guest book have recently been added.

"We also link to staff Web pages on the main directory. A goal of the technology department this year is to encourage staff to develop this additional form of communication about classroom events and assignments. In addition to the school sections, there is also a library site sectioned into elementary, middle school and high school, with resources for students, and a technology section with information and resources for staff' and students. A new section is the art department, with examples of student work."

Review: This is indeed an ambitious site, and it seems to be meeting well all of the goals outlined by Ms. Frawley. The level at which the site solicits the participation of both students and staff is especially laudable. Although it's increasingly common to make updating a school page part of the student curriculum for computer classes, we've never seen a Web site that went to such lengths to get faculty and staff members involved. The site gives them step-by-step instructions for adding their own page to the mix. …