Overview of Jackson-Reed Website
Create a new website for Jackson-Reed High School, based on the current website with a plan to add on new functionality and features.
- Use WordPress, a widely used Content Management System(CMS), for the platform.
- Create a student website club at Jackson-Reed to create, update and manage the website.
- Include administration, staff and teachers in the project.
To reimagine the purpose of the school's website. Yes, it should continue to be a repository of information that is available for staff, parents and students. But, it could also be a method for students to gain valuable experience and skills in the technical, marketing, content creation and visual design areas of website development.
A website club, similar to the Beacon, will teach students the basics of designing, creating and maintaining a website. And much more - social media, marketing, advertising, content, visual design. It would be a way to get students who are not interested or are intimidated by "real coding" classes interested in technology. Call it gateway tech.
- Idea Creation - how to brainstorm and create solid ideas that meet the needs of the Jackson-Reed community.
- Project Management - how to create a plan and track progress for a complicated schedule.
- Graphic Design - how to create icons, how to design a website for usability.
- Responsive Design - how to design a website that is used across all devices - mobile to desktop.
- Content Creation - how to create evergreen content as well as timely updates.
- WordPress Front End - how to manage the updating the of the website via an understanding of WordPress.
- WordPress Back End - a deeper understanding of how to create a WordPress site and how to maintain it using complex plugins and basics HTML & CSS.
- Custom Coding - if needed - WordPress websites can be extended into more full-featured functionality by using custom HTML, CSS & PHP.
- Two co-leaders with WordPress and coding skills.
- Adult to lead with solid website development and WordPress skills.
- Train new members on the various skills that are needed as we plan, design and build a new website.
- Skills areas include:
- WordPress Basic Knowledge - front end and content
- WordPress Back end skills - user role management, plugins, security
- WordPress advanced front end skills- complex page layout
- WordPress advanced Back end skills - Forms & data
- Digital Design
- Social Media
- Content Creation
- Basics of HTML
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - to do advanced design
- Even some real coding with PHP
Steps to Take
- Identify the needs of the new website. Is it just a duplicate of the existing website or do we want more features and functionality?
- Identify the platform. WordPress is an easy choice - check out the box below for the explanation of why!
- Identify the hosting platform. A competent web hosting company can be in charge of the critical back end issues that can be more serious. And provide continuity of support over time.
- Create the base website. Over the late spring/early summer, create the basic website using an outside firm so that it is set up correctly. We could have students do an internship to participate in the process.
- Form a website club to start next school year. If no teacher can take on the role of advisor - I would be happy to do so for a while. I do have a rising Freshman.
- Work with teachers, administration and staff on the design and creation so they are fully on board and comfortable with using and maintaining the site.
- Document everything! Having an extensive Help system allows new helpers to easily and independently come up to speed. And requires little help from true techies.
- WordPress is the predominate Content Management System in the world which means there are lots of tools that work with and it is worthwhile to learn for the students.
- It is an open system so Jackson-Reed would own the website completely and be able to customize it as much as needed.
- It is one of the the easiest to use CMS platforms from a backed perspective enabling non-technical people to create and update complex websites.
- With a basic knowledge of HTML & CSS, you can create complicated design elements
- Using PHP, a high-level programming language, you can create custom functionality that integrates seamlessly.