This year marks my 32nd year in education. When I starting teaching, schools were a part of your community and it was assumed that you would attend your local community school. Today, however, students have unlimited choices for where they will attend and receive their education. They can even choose to stay home and receive their courses digitally. Schools now must compete for students. Parents are searching for the best places and options for their child’s education. These decisions impact everyone’s future.
Therefore, marketing your school is a priority. Schools can no longer depend on being selected because they are the neighborhood choice. Many schools are even hiring marketing and public relations personnel to sell their campuses. I believe promoting your school begins with each classroom and more specifically, every individual. Every single person is now a salesperson for your district.
One easy way that teachers can promote your district is through an up-to-date web page. People want to be able to get on their computer at their convenience and know what’s going on at your district. Keeping web pages current can be a challenge. Especially since most teachers are teachers, not web page designers. Therefore, one easy way I encourage teachers to keep an up-to-date webpage is using a simple Google doc published as a web page.
To accomplish this, a teacher simply follows these steps:
- Open Google drive.
- Click on NEW.
- Click on Google Doc.
- Name the document.
- Type information on the page.
- Click on File.
- Click on Publish to the Web.
- Click on Publish.
- Click OK (you are sure you want to publish).
- A screen appears with the link to send to your district’s webmaster.
- Click on the envelope icon (Gmail) and your e-mail will open where you can type in your webmaster’s e-mail address and the link will already be in the body of the e-mail for your district webmaster to create a link off of the district web page to your web page.
Once this link is connected, you don’t have to work with the webmaster again. Your page becomes live at that moment. All new changes you make in your Google document will automatically appear in the published page!
You now have an easy way to keep parents current on all events! Follow this link to a sample, very simple doc published as a web page.
Now, a couple of notes:
- It’s really plain. However, I believe most people just want to know current information and aren’t as concerned about the looks.
- It does take 5 minutes sometimes to update, so be patient if you type into a document and it hasn’t appeared on your published document yet.
The first time I presented this to teachers, they were blown away that it was really that easy. Most importantly, since presenting this over two years ago to a group of teachers, they are still doing weekly updates on their web pages.
Many people just can’t accept the plain simplicity of the regular document, so I offer this alternative which is simply a formatted, centered table within a Google doc. The instructions to publish are the same as above, but you start with making a copy of this document.
Whatever document your teachers choose to go with, they now have an easy way to create web pages and keep your patrons up-to-date on what’s going on in your district. Now everyone in your district can be responsible for keeping people informed. Communication is a key component of successful districts. Web pages are one of many ways that our district markets itself.