4 Features That Create an Easy School Website for Teachers and Staff
Every school that’s serious about providing relevant and holistic education knows the importance of having a school website. A dedicated school website is one avenue for the students to learn beyond the classroom -- but it does more than that. Your website should be an excellent venue for engaging the families of the students and keeping them up to date with their child’s progress and activities. It’s also a potent tool for involving the community in school events. Plus, it makes the job of disseminating information much easier for the teachers and school staff.
To ensure that every stakeholder enjoys all these benefits, it’s an absolute must to keep the website constantly updated and meticulously maintained. Once the website has been launched and turned over to the school, the task of updating its contents often falls on the hands of the teachers and school staff. The question at this point is who has the primary responsibility over the website.
School Website Upkeep: Whose Job is It?
Even if the school has a dedicated IT team in place, the responsibility of running a website can still be quite overwhelming. After all, this job entails coordinating with the teachers and staff, constantly updating the site’s pages and content, and answering inquiries from the students’ parents and the rest of the community. Relegating all these tasks to a single team or personnel might work, but it can sometimes compromise the timeliness of the content and the school’s response to the concerns of the parents and students.
To make this job more convenient for everyone involved, the best approach is to spread out the work and allow the teachers and staff to be responsible for their own class and teacher pages. If the website is primarily designed for ease of use, then updating it can reduce work and declutter a lot of processes for teachers and non-teaching staff alike.
What’s in an Easy School Website?
Creating an easy school website starts with having a content management system that’s specifically designed for teachers and school staff.
A content management system, or CMS, refers to an application or program that is used to create or manage digital content. A CMS that’s specially designed for school websites should have plenty of features that will make it much easier for teachers and school staff to manage and update the site’s content. Done right, a feature-rich CMS can even automate form creation and processing, school facility reservations, and newsletter subscription and distribution. This, in turn, can help lessen the workload of the teachers and school staff.
To ensure that your school website will be easy to use, the site’s CMS should have the following features:
- Well-structured Layout and Navigation
- An easy school website should have a solid foundation: a well-structured layout and navigation. This allows the site visitors to find the answers they’re looking for without any delay or extra effort. The same can be said about a school website’s CMS. Upon logging into the CMS, the user should have easy access to the parts and pages that matter most. This may include the user’s personal page, class page, and relevant departments and school facility pages. The pages they don’t use as much or those they don’t have access to should stay hidden to keep the CMS platform from becoming too cluttered and confusing.
- Simple Interface for Adding and Updating Content
- Simplicity is key when it comes to designing an authoring environment that caters to teachers and school staff. An authoring environment refers to the section where the user creates and updates the site content. This part of the CMS should be simple enough to accommodate the non-techie, but it should also house features that will make content customization an effortless task. In addition to a simple text editor, there should be buttons for adding and editing images and videos, creating galleries, and uploading files. An interactive calendar widget where the user can mark events and activities will also be quite useful for both the CMS users and website visitors.
- Integration with Office Suites, Tools, and Platforms That Teachers Love
- A CMS that’s integrated with popular cloud-based office suites will prove to be a useful tool for teachers and staff alike. A Google integrated CMS allows the user to quickly and easily upload videos, photos, and other files on the website. These files, in turn, can be easily accessible to parents and students who want to catch up with the lessons they missed or who want to take advance lessons.
- Syncing calendars can be done with just a click. Plus, access to Google Analytics allows the site administrator to track the school’s online engagement and to see which pages receive the most attention from the online community. Integration with cloud-based suites also allows the user to access and edit the website from any device using a single sign-on credential.
- Streamlined Form Creation and Submission
- Another feature that should make it easier for teachers and school staff to do their jobs would be an integrated form builder. This should be coupled with an automated form submission, collation, and accounting process. The user should be able to craft a form and leave it where it can be accessed by concerned parties and individuals. Then, at the end of every cutoff period, the administration should receive a copy and summary of the submitted forms without needing any input or additional work from the staff.
A school website should make work easier for your teaching and non-teaching staff. Getting an easy-to-use school website with a teacher-friendly CMS ensures that everyone is on board as your school strives to provide an educational experience that’s relevant to the digital age.