Make sense of technology


School websites for communication...

Your public-facing website

I specialise in primary school websites that don't look like the intended audience is primary school pupils - on the whole it isn't. Pupil interaction is best handled by your MLE. The main audience for your school website is most likely parents and carers, prospective parents and carers, colleagues, OFSTED, LA staff etc.

My approach honours the endeavours of pupils and staff by presenting what you do and what you stand for in a clean, cool, sophsticated visual design... unless you really want big friendly 3D buttons, primary colours and cartoon characters - in which case, go wild. I can do that too.

Decisions, decisions

Bespoke solution

A bespoke solution tailored to your preceise requirements. This will provide the best performance and often the best value. I also offer affordable ongoing support for content updates.

CMS solution

A CMS (Content Management System) enables you to carry out content updates yourself. This approach is often initially attractive to many clients. However, experience has shown that it is rarely the best choice for schools...

Considerations

It's certainly possible to take a CMS approach using technologies such as Wordpress or Joomla, but in my experience school staff don't have time to do the updating and even when they do: this often isn't the best use of their time and expertise. It usually costs less to just send me your content and leave the rest to me (example tasks with time-to-complete - e.g. newsletter: 15mins, policy update: 15 - 30 mins).

It generally takes me about half the time to update content within a bespoke solution, compared to a CMS solution.

Also consider that there can be additional hosting and development costs associated with a CMS approach and the resulting website, especially once you've replaced some of the original content, can often look less 'polished'.

Websites for learning...

Your Managed Learning Environment

A safe, secure, accessible learning resource.

My experience dates back to the original DigitalBrain VLE in 2005 and includes extensive experience with the Fronter MLE - particularly as part of the London Grid for Learning.

I provide the training and support to ensure your MLE is used and valued by all stakeholders and supports school aims.

The possibility exists to create a 'WebFronter' public-facing CMS-driven website on the Fronter MLE platform, if, after discussion, we decide that would be appropriate in your particular circumstances.

Projects:

  • resource-sharing
  • WebFronter public facing website
  • collaboration with pupils in other countries
  • borough-wide film competition (infant school)

Support:

  • Strategic advice to school mamangers
    • use your MLE to support wider school aims & initiatives
    • possibilities & priorities
  • Support for curriculum leaders
    • set-up
    • populate
    • roll-out to users
  • staff training
    • Whole-school training days
    • Small group
    • 1 to 1
    • on-going support
  • Support administrators - end of year / start of year. MIS integration