More than ever, schools need to be online, with a clear updateable
website and a full presence on social media.
In a year where many schools retreated to virtual classrooms
and where Microsoft Teams and Zoom were the preferred option for teaching, it became
vital for schools to make full use of their school websites. It is, after all, one of the easiest ways to
disseminate information to a large group of people. Yet, recent reports on social media featured confused
parents lamenting out of date school websites and a complete lack of school
opening information on social media.
Irish students are online from an early age. Some from as young as 6 years of age! Their parents have also embraced the trend to search online first, for anything and everything. Yet, the educational colleges and institutes are often sadly lacking in their online presence. Websites are out of date and social media is often ignored. In 2020, only 1.5% of all the specifically Irish domain names (iedr.ie) were held by Irish schools and educational institutions. While many schools have websites, a great many of them have not been recently updated. It makes complete sense to get the best use out of the tools that are at your disposal and for schools, this means updating your website and using it as the primary means of getting general information to parents and students alike.
A Content Managed System.
This means, quite simply, a website that you can update easily, as easily as editing a word document. Too often schools and colleges are offered websites by well-meaning folk who dabble in web design and web development. The temptation to save money and not cause offence can mean a ‘dead’ website with photos of children, who now have children and term news from 2005, as no one knows how to manage the site. It is worth the cost of employing a good IT company, who will ensure that you own your own domain name, get the site you want and that you have the independence and training to keep that site on fleek, as the kids would say, and doing a lot of the heavy lifting work with regard to administration of the school. Permission slips, book lists and specialised content on extracurricular activities can all be added to reduce the number of phone calls, conversations and office hours needed to run a busy school.
Social Media is your friend
Traditionally schools find themselves addressing the ‘dark side’ of social media, as cyber bullying and inappropriate content become daily issues in most second level and primary schools. There is the danger that you may not embrace the good positive side of Social Media and post your proud achievements, urgent messages and content which reflects the ethics and ethos of your educational institution. It is not just about ‘likes’, but again, about reducing administration hours as the information becomes accessible in an easy form to both current and potential students
Your website can be the virtual ‘photo gallery’ and archive
of the school as you celebrate your history, your students both past and
present and most of all, keep the student body and their guardians, parents and
friends fully up to date with term news and vital information. The rest of the world is now fully digital,
so it is high time that the educators caught up.
Call us at Dmac Media if you need to upgrade, renew or need some ‘grinds’ in managing your school website and its social media content. We won’t give you too much homework!