I was thinking yesterday that I might start a Web log for this Web site transformation project just to keep all of the relevant info in one place and to give people an idea of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. There is so much to do.
The good news is that Seb has agreed to consult on the project, and I’m very happy to have him on board. He’s always been one of those that has pushed my thinking on this, and I think we’re both psyched to see where it might lead. And I have the good fortune of having a Systems Analyst and technology group that is very skilled and supportive. This idea keeps coming more and more into focus as we talk about process and implementation, and it’s starting to feel like a team instead of a lone voice in the wilderness.
One theme that has arisen as I’ve presented to various groups and begun to flesh out the details is that what we’re creating here is more than just a Web site; it’s going to be a tool to enhance teaching and learning. People have a bit of a hard time getting their brains around the idea of using the Web site not only as a communications tool but as a teaching tool. I’ve been able to show some great examples both of district use and of classroom use, but the vision that we’re creating deals with the seamless integration of the whole package: static information, department specific multimedia dynamic content (KM in here), teaching and collaboration space for lessons and learning objects, electronic portfolio space, SIS interface for data access, and eventually, personalized Intranet space utilizing highly specific RSS feeds to consume and publish relevant content to a variety of audiences. It’s a mind boggling concept for most…flexibility and empowerment for all members of the school community. Especially when you consider the limited interaction most have had with our current Web site.
So we’re taking that end result and trying to break it down into pieces that we need to build to form the whole puzzle. We’re going to spend the next month or two just talking to the people who are most involved here: teachers, supervisors and to some extent students. With any luck, we’ll have a site plan by Sept. 1 and we’ll begin creating and implementing in late Fall. Right now, we’re looking to launch portions of the site around the first of the year and have departments come on board slowly after that.
I’ve always been impatient, and that seems like such a long time to me. But I’ve been convinced that the bulk of the time needs to be spent up front. I don’t want to rush through the planning. But I am looking forward to seeing where this will end up. Really excited. Really scared.