Why do schools have district websites? The benefits include the following: linking schools in the district, developing communication in classes, grade levels, and cultures, encouraging parental involvement, presenting information to visitors about the school and acquisition of technology skills (Miller, Adsit & Miller, 2005). The digital divide holds with it a social justice goal to ensure that students regardless of socioeconomic status have equal access to new technologies both in the form of information and communication. The No Child Left Behind Act (2001), the Enhanced Education Through Technology program identifies among its purpose “to support local efforts using technology to promote parent and family involvement in education and communication among students, parents, teachers, principals, and administrators” (Education, 2001 p.2). The importance of the Internet as an essential addition to the school landscape is becoming very evident (Hartshorne, Friedman, Algozzone & Isibor, 2006). The elementary process and, in the development of such; teachers need to find new and exciting ways for knowledge attainment. The use of technologies, such as the Internet, allows students to communicate globally, parents to become more involved and provides a place for supplemental curriculum material to be accessed by all persons associated with the educational process. The Internet is an attractive source of information for parents because of its round-the-clock availability, speed, and enormous range of information (Martland & Rothbaum, 2006, p. 839). A high school website can provide a comprehensive illustration of a school’s curriculum, and its development can be a collaborative effort, addressing the goals and needs of different elements within the school (Hartshorne, Friedman, Algozzone & Isibor, 2006).
Qualities of a “Good” website
There are three main areas to focus on when assessing a school’s website. First and foremost, look at the content of the site. Most sites include the physical location of the school, as well as, the listing of contact information for the school faculty and staff. Some may even, have a school calendar online. But, how many of our schools take their site to the next level to include the school curriculum, classroom homepages, homework postings, and links and web resources for parents, students and teachers, or even, a showcase of student work? Not only does the content count when measuring the quality of the site, so does the overall structure of the website. Sites should have an eye-catching home page, be easy to navigate, have all live links, include credible information, have clear directions, host attractive visuals, be interactive, include contact information, have user control, and be fun to explore. (Riccardi, Easton & Small, 2004) And lastly, sites should be accessible to all and provide quality motivational materials for students, parents and teachers.
Review of Related Study
Creating a School District Website
Because the Internet is a powerful communication tool for teachers, students, parents and community, it makes sense to develop a website that provides information about what is going on in school (Washenberger, 2001). Not only do student learn the different software that they are using to create such projects, they are also developing their research skills, increasing writing ability, as well as, learning to work as a team and how to make decisions as a group. Currently there are many resources out there that provide teachers with tools on how they create their own web pages. Some of the ways that are being used are various commercial software like Microsoft’s Front Page or Macromedia Dreamweaver, using free online shareware software such as HTML Assistant Pro, online services from companies like AOL, or even programming in HTML. Creating the page is easy; however it takes vision, creativity and diligence. Since the mid 1990’s the number of school and library websites...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document