Small North Dakota District Implements Big Web Presence
We all know appearances can be deceiving. But Lakota Public Schools of Lakota, ND, has resolved to demonstrate the upside of that concept by deploying a district Web site with visuals, interactivity, and ease of access that deliberately belie the size of the district.
LPS has implemented content management system School Loop Standard to give its Web site the look and feel of a professionally designed and managed Internet presence. The application follows a growing trend in Web site management, featuring drop-and-drag menus and WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) technology. These features allow users with basic knowledge of computers to design professional-looking Web sites. They need not know how to program HTML code or applications in order to create pages using their own ideas, text, graphics, and links, and to update them quickly and with ease.
Said a spokesperson for San Francisco-based School Loop, "District size and funding no longer dictate how schools will be represented online." The SLS, he noted, removes many of the logistical issues and other obstacles that previously distinguished interactive Web sites with fewer resources from their better endowed counterparts.
Managing the Web site using such technology means that teachers, students, and even parents can create and manage their own Web pages within the LPS system, giving all those connected with the district a collective opportunity to offer a Web site that visitors would easily associate with a much larger district with greater resources. Additionally, the SLS system offers a choice of templates the district can use to maintain a consistent style across all of its pages, even as its users each put forth their information, comments, and other material in their own respective ways.
With comprehensive Web management systems like SLS, users can also easily create custom menus, directories, calendars, and other tools useful to a school-related Web environment so that visitors can navigate the site much like any professionally designed and programmed page.
In the case of LPS, this means parents can easily access schedules, teacher contact information, event and other announcements, emergency instructions, last-minute closures and time changes, and even homework assignments to help them take an active role in each child's education. In addition, the district posts photos and news items and includes a separate tab for alumni to view class pictures from their respective graduation years.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.