Sunday, 30 July 2006

ULearn 06

Counting down already to ULearn06 in Christchurch in September. There won't be much of a break for our 13 BardWired delegates who take off the day after school finishes for the term - phew! So if you are one of our team and you haven't registered for your pre-conference workshop yet - get over there and do it now! Richard & i have sort of started planning the pre-conference session we are running: "Take Back Control of Your School Website." It was interesting to sit down side by side with Richard the other day and see how differently we make our sites - i use tables, he uses? (i've forgotten already); he makes his navigation bar & links in Fireworks - I learnt how to do this the other day & I've forgotten already...ok i didn't really learn it then did i? We both start with creating a site - which is a good idea, optimising images is another important feature. So a few things we need to start planning to make sure we are telling the same story at ULearn :-) Another thing we need to get confident with before ULearn is doing all of this on Apples! I can't see this should be a problem - i hope.
So why would anyone want to learn how to make their own school website? There are so many free tools online to create an online presence (blogs & wikis etc) & you need no skills to be able to use these. There are also a quite a few businesses that specialise in making your school website for you. I think it's a really useful skill to have to know a little html, even if you use blogs & wikis - it just gives you a bit more understanding about what you are doing & helps you do cool things with your template. Also it is about control - it makes me cringe to think of schools who pay for someone to do something as simple as updating the newsletter. It's great to have someone on the staff too who can update pages when new items come to hand (even the same day) instead of waiting and paying for a specialist to do it. I think that the age of the IT Guru has passed and anybody with a little skill & interest can create great webpages.
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