Virtual Bulletin Board
At ISB we’ve struggled over the past couple of years in defining our web spaces. Although we’ve been getting better at using the “Core 3” (Moodle, Google Apps, WordPress) we still need to define spaces based on purpose and audience.
One thing I’m focusing on this year is creating what I’m calling a Virtual Bulletin Board for our high school students. A place where they can find and post announcements in whatever format they choose.
Here’s the site: http://inside.isb.ac.th/high
Audience: High School Students at ISB
Purpose: To get announcements out to students, information from the office, campus updates
Once we have defined the audience and purpose we can then start to create and mold how the site will work. I know there are probably better bulletin board systems out there than a blog….but I’m committed to showing teachers and students just how flexible the WordPress platform can be.
The platform of WordPress is so dynamic, so powerful and so customizable that really your imagination is the limit.
If you have clicked on the link above to the bulletin board site you’ll be thinking to yourself “it still looks like a blog to me” and you’re right…it does for now and probably will for awhile yet.
Steps to making it a virtual bulletin board.
Step 1: Every school computer in the high school has this page as its default start page for every browser. So we are forcing eyes on the page to begin with. It becomes crucial that we spend this year gaining the trust of students and showing them this is the place for them to come for information. Next year we roll out 1:1 in the high school where we will no longer control the home page of the browser. We need to get this right or we’ll loose them.
Step 2: We have created the “quick link” section that links students to all the other applications they need in the high school.
Step 3. Work with the high school administration to push announcements and updates to students on the site.
Step 4: Train students to post things to the site
Step 4 is what I’m most excited about and I think shows the true power of WordPress and going with a blogging platform.
My idea is that we’ll have students post announcements on their own blogs (every student already has one) and then have them tag the announcement with the word ”hsannouncement”. Using the AutoBlog plugin I’ll then grad the RSS feed for that tag and pull that into the Virtual Bulletin Board site. This way students can post an announcement about a club, upcoming activity or just a thought out to the rest of the high school by simply writing a post on their own blog. They then keep ownership of the announcement. I’m hoping this will be useful for clubs, sports teams, athletics, and kids and general.
What I also like is that because our container is a blog, we’re not limited to just text. Videos, audio, images….kids can decide which medium best gets their message across. We can easily embed videos in the sidebar, in posts, in pages. Making the site even more unique and engaging.
In the end it needs to engage them…students have to see it as a place to go to get information that is relevent to them. If we can succeed in that then I’ll have met one of my goals for the year…..wish me luck!