#48 Web Content (2)

Web Content

There are obvious areas to concentrate on in a school library website. So what else could you publish? Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Opening hours, holiday times
  • List of library services
  • Curricular Links
  • Library staff qualifications and biography
  • Events information: World BookDay, Poetry Week etc
  • CPD record
  • Library photographs
  • Virtual tour
  • Podcast
  • Information Literacy guides
  • Search engine guides
  • Worksheets and/or workshops
  • Library handbook
  • Links to other school library sites
  • RSS feeds

As your options increase due to the advent of web 2.0, soon you may be able to display dynamic and relevant content without creating it yourself. If you’re starting out, it’s also useful to observe those who’ve been working at it for some time.

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#40 Web Pages

Web Pages

Creating web pages is a very easy process, particularly if someone else has worked on the site and created a school website, of which the library space could be a part. Free tools are available for creation of web pages such as Dynamic HTML Editor.
Microsoft Frontpage is incorporated in the Office Suite from Office XP onwards, and an educational copy of a top end editor like Dreamweaver costs about £40-50.

This kind of thing was cutting edge about 10-15 years ago, but nowadays most schools will probably have a Content Management System powering their website, which means you don’t have to know any technical details before you add content. Speak to your school’s webmaster, and see what system they use.

If a library area doesn’t exist already, ask for one to be created!

Be aware of data protection and child safety issues, and also general good practice.

#21 Linking The Web

 

WWW

Linking to web information from a school website sounds like a very simple concept, and indeed it is. It is also a hugely powerful way of interacting with teaching staff, and producing an end product that will be of immense use to teaching staff and pupils.

If your school already has a school website, chances are that the library has a page describing opening hours, services etc. It should be an easy matter to persuade the school and the webmaster to allow you to expand that area, particularly if you can demonstrate it will be of practical curricular use across the school.

Updating and adding links to web pages is a very easy process, particularly if your school has a content management system setup, whereby you login and are ready to start typing. Once you hit ‘publish’ (or refer to webmaster), you’re done. Speak to your webmaster to see how your website is updated.

Planning is essential with this kind of project. Questions to ask:

  • Is the topic suitable for web based information?
  • Who will I target first?
  • What are the topics, and the components within it?
  • Do I have enough specific information to find relevant information?
  • When will I do the searching, where will the time come from?
  • Do I have a reliable system for storing websites I find?
  • Has someone covered it already, do I need to do more?

 

It is advisable to discuss the project in detail with one or two members of staff before you begin. There are some issues you need to be aware of with this kind of work:

  • Ensure that roles and responsibilities are clarified at the outset
  • Make clear the amount of work required to create a link bank; it can be considerable
  • Try to get a guarantee that the weblinks will be used by staff and pupils to support the curriculum
  • Ensure you have enough information about the topic to do the searching
  • Document the project, and get feedback at the end of the first cycle, to try and improve the service for the next cycle

Topic related weblinks can be a boon to teaching staff and to pupils. They can be particularly useful to those who struggle to find information for themselves, and to advanced pupils who may want to explore further and deeper into the topic. For this reason, you should ensure that links are differentiated; from simple, picture based sites, through to more advanced, text based sites.

 

Useful Weblinks:

Teachernet: School Websites

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/atoz/s/schoolwebsites/

 

Thousands of Free Weblinks for Topics in the Scottish 3-18 Curriculum.

http://topicsonline.wordpress.com/

Learning & Teaching Scotland Resources

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/5to14/resources/index.asp