I have been working with principals and other admins now for about a year and a half on how to become an iAdministrator. The goal has been for these school leaders to gain an understanding on how today's internet & apps & gear all play together. Beyond the technical details, I try to convey the importance of strategy with respect to all these pieces. Without strategy, these elements are simply disjointed novelty.
All principals should take time to look at their school website and take a critical look at the following:
- Is the information (a parent would want) easy to find? Up to date?
- Is the navigation (ie how I get around the website) easy to understand?
- Does my principal page give any meaningful information that would help parents or students? Is the information there up to date? Can I be easily contacted?
- What about my teachers? Do they have relevant content? Up to date? Easy to find?
- Social Media? Facebook, Twitter, etc? How can we leverage it?
- Media rich? Videos and Podcasts VS text and graphics?
Principals do not have to know how to build the website (they'll have nerds for that). They do have to be in charge of the CONTENT on their website. They do have to be in charge of the TIMELINESS of information, updates and links. They do have to FEED their websites by setting expectations for staff.
Principal's are supposed to be architects, not plumbers. They have to plan and orchestrate. They have to articulate the vision for their school website, then insure that the vision is being achieved. Principal's (and teachers) are marketing their programs. The web is a powerful platform to do that from.
So self assess principals...and make it better, even if it's already good!