October 28, 2005

Who needs web design?

The need for teachers to learn web design in a traditional html editor has certainly been lessened as a result of the weblog. I try to advocate in favour of the weblog as a web presence for teachers and students. The Bionic Teacher just posted a question in regards to technology training and I commented in a similar way.
Our school division is about to merge with 5 other divisions on January 1, 2006. This will include some big changes. Our new director has asked a colleague of mine to design the new division site. I designed and basically maintain our present site but am more than willing to pass this task on to Jeff, who is a master web designer. He and I have talked about the use of a CMS as the backbone of the site. I know he’ll do a great job of creating a functional and powerful site.
Our current school sites have all been designed by willing teachers who have taken various training sessions with Dreamweaver. The issues that constantly arise is who maintains the site? How often is it updated? What happens if the web designer changes schools? In an effort to address these issues, we had Tim Lauer of Portland talk to our school support teams via Skype recently to talk about his school site. Tim discussed his purpose and some functions of his site. All our schools recognize the need to make some changes and we’ll begin by installing a news script inside their existing pages to alleviate the pressures of a single webmaster as well as create a site with updated information.
This represents a first step in developing a culture that embraces communication and makes better efforts to connect to parents and the community. Our new division will likely take this a step further with fully functional blog or CMS back end.
Is web design dead? For most teachers yes. Html and CSS are all still needed but we’re starting to understand its limitations.