Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

School Loop Standard

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

School Loop Standard

Article excerpt

Company: School Loop, 49 Powell St., San Francisco, CA94102. Phone: (650) 351-5060.

Price: Free to the first 100 school districts. After that, the price is $500 per building per year.

Audience: K-12 educators (teachers and administrators in schools and school districts).

Format: School Loop Standard is a fully supported and hosted service that includes web-based software for website creation and management.

The program includes secure highspeed hosting, all needed storage, and other features. Upgrades include an optional grade book and multilingual voice messaging.

Minimum System Requirements: This web-based program works on any computer system with a browser and internet access.

Windows 98 or Mac OS 9 or better are suggested. The recommended browsers are Internet Explorer 5x or higher, Firefox, or Safari.

As with many web-based programs, School Loop Standard works best on newer computers with faster internet access.

Description: School Loop Standard is a content management system that enables users to manage website content on a district, building, or individual teacher level-without experience in HTML coding. The program uses an extremely easy-tolearn interface with drag-and-drop tools, features, and templates for website development, aS well as integrated district calendars, digital storage lockers, and more.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Installation is a matter of subscribing to the service and accessing the program on the School Loop servers. Nothing is required from district IT (information technology) personnel; the service is hosted entirely by School Loop. Installation Rating:A

Content/Features: The School Loop Standard content management system (CMS) is a tool for designing district, school, and teacher webpages through a very well-designed, easily used set of tools offering varying levels of access. (Basically, the "content" in a content management system is a series of webpages and any materials that might go into them such as text, pictures and slide shows, tables, and calendars.)

School Loop Standard provides several levels of access that control the webpages that specific users can create or modify. The highest access level is Webmaster; a 2-hour webinar is available to help district or school webmasters get started.

The webmasters work online in the Webmaster Center where the Homepage Dashboard, Site Map, and Approval Required sections are located. The Homepage Dashboard enables the editing of the homepage and the addition of events, files (that may be stored in server space called Lockers), and images from image albums. Webmasters may approve, edit, or delete news and events submitted by others, including students.

The Site Map section enables the editing, deleting, or management of existing website sections. These sections can cover departments, resources, and additional areas. The management duties include assigning rights, approving content, and working with the design setup. The Site Map section provides access to faculty/staff sites and enables the creation of subsections and pages.

The Approval Required section allows webmasters to review work submitted by website contributors. Subsections, also called minisites, can serve as building, department, or club sites for institution- or organization-specific news, events, files, image albums, and navigation. Pages can be added by choosing a page template. Elements can be added, including images or slide shows, lockers (for storage), directories, and as many as five publishing tools (calendar tool, table tool, rich-text editor, etc. …

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