Showing my website(and what it is exactly) to the school.

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by G5Unit, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #1
    For the past 16 months(from idea to now, start of 9th grade to middle of 10th), I've been working on http://school-forum.net which is a forum where students form my school can go online and ask/answer and school related questions.

    The people who I have presented it to are very impressed and think it is a great concept. But students actually understanding what the site is and using it are in small numbers.:(

    What I am asking here is what can I do to get the word out in my school about my site? The principal is fully backing it, and all of the teachers think it is great. It's just when someone logs in for the 1st time and seems nothing, they linger, and leave.

    I'm a one man team(2 people sort of helping me on the side) as the people just do not see any benefits in helping with a site that offers nothing in return, except a sense of helping someone.



    I came here because everyone on this forum seems to have a basic understanding of what one can do to receive traffic and make a site better.

    Please Help! This is my first site ever, and I really want it to take off!
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Well it seems a lot of the youngsters are using MySpace and FaceBook so spreading the word from those sites might help a little bit. You can also put up posters around school on bulletin boards, computer labs, cafeteria, and word of mouth of course.

    Since the teachers are seeing this positively maybe they can help by providing some motivation to students. The teachers can assign some homework that in some way makes use of the site and forces them to stay long enough to learn how to negotiate it. Perhaps making them use it to collaborate on a team, or having students post a piece of writing (poetry, short short story, etc.) and have other class mates give feedback and opinions. The teacher can state that they must give X number of feedbacks. Though having the teachers check this may be an issue. I haven't really checked out the site to see the potentials, but hopefully this gives an idea of what I'm thinking.

    Also, to help people get initiated into the site you should provide a link "New to the Site?" that will give them a walk through of how to setup an account, what they'll be able to do with it, etc. Essentially you want to tell them why they should be there.

    One thing to avoid (since the teachers like it) is a "Rate My Teacher" type of feature. While interesting for students, it can really backfire on you as far as support from the school.
     
  3. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #3
    Well everyone is already signed up by default, so I've passed that barrier.

    What angelwatt said is really what I am aim for, it's just really difficult to organize all of that on my free time.


    What I believe I need to start is some CONTENT. Perferably submitted by different people to show that many people are using the site. To set a trend of sorts.
     
  4. monke macrumors 65816

    monke

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #4
    angelwatt's idea of having the teachers force the students to use the site is great, but it's not practical. In a perfect world it might work but getting all the teachers on board would be hard.

    Here's a couple ideas:
    1. Does your school have a website? If so ask the teacher who maintains it if he would might putting a link on there.
    2. Also talk to your "tech" teacher(s) and you could try and set your page as the homepage on computers throughout the school.
    3. Word of Mouth. The more people that know, the more will find out about it. Even if you just start spreading stuff around like "Have you heard about http://school-forum.net before? This guy I know was talking about it and he said it helped him pass (insert class here)".
    4. Posters. Try asking the administrators at your school about putting up posters about your site. Give them a tour at the same time.
    5. T-shirts? This might sound lame, but anything to get the word out would help. Something like "Didn't get your homework done? School-forum.net can help. Simple stuff like that.
    6. Print out flyers and 'purposely' leave them in classrooms you were in. Might not be the brightest idea ever, but even if it catches one or two people's attention they will tell others.

    I also like anglewatt's idea of having a "New to the Site" link. It would just make everything much easier.

    Having it based on one school could put limits on how much traffic you get. For starting it will be a great learning experience, but if you really want more traffic you should open it up to more schools.

    Getting high school students to go to a website and homework could be tough to. Just wait for it to catch on, which may take a while.

    Hope I could help. :)
     
  5. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #5
    Linked to the school? Kids will tend to avoid it. They won't be able to speak freely, and you're fighting a billion places they'd rather be. Gear heads might like it. So therefore it is pretty much doomed. Sure, you'll get a few brave souls, but nothing like what you'd LIKE to see.
    I am a tech director AT a school, and have seen this before... including efforts I myself have made.
    There's also the question "what if?" What if it really takes off anyway? Will you be able to manage it? Forums are a LOT of work, and I guarantee you'll HATE it after the 500th deleted post due to content issues.
    You might be better off spending time doing something you like... or maybe making a "showcase" website where you can post talents the students have, like music or art or whatever. (I am forwarding that now, and i fear it's also doomed to failure)
    Sorry the negative answer here... but to me "been there, done that".
    Look for the novel idea...
     
  6. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #6
    I've had those thoughts. And obviously I'm going through a ton of mental changes at the moment(puberty) and my opinion always lingers on what is more important(future or girls)

    I always wanted to do a show case like site for students, yet I always thought that something like school-forum would help me get extra recognition for college.

    Any more thoughts? These are helping.
     
  7. Matteh117 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #7
    Not related to advertising the forum, but I took a quick look and immediately thought "ouch".

    The colours are a little harsh in my opinion. Are they school colours? Maybe try something a little more appealing to the eye?
     
  8. exabytes18 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Suburb of Chicago
    #8
    It's a decent idea, but what happens after you graduate? How long will you maintain it? Another barrier is that fact that you're a student. I'm not trying to make any judgments, but teachers won't rely upon it; they can't.

    A teacher at my school set up a site running moodle for our district. Both for capacity and security reasons among others, they finally moved it to a server our tech department maintains. I know moodle is something different than what you have there, but the same principles apply there.

    Honestly, implementing this from a student's perspective isn't feasible. I really didn't mean to rain on the parade, but count me in doubt.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #9
    I have to agree with the others that this is a very laudable idea but one that's really not feasible.

    If you still want to pursue the forum idea, maybe you could limit it to a specific class and work with the teacher and create something sustainable.

    A well run forum takes up a lot of time and can turn into a quagmire very quickly if it's not managed on an hourly basis.

    My advice, find something a little less controversial.
     
  10. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #10
    Would everyone agree that I should focus it on something such as School Clubs only?

    As there is no way a school club can communicate with their members rather then via the morning announcements(which suck)
     
  11. gorda777 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #11
    IMHO, HS students come home to unwind mentally. (ie. stop thinking about school). Getting students to surf a website about school stuff will be difficult.

    Social websites (ie. MySpace) work so well with young peep's cause its an escape for them (escape from school, home, etc.) They can express themselves (openly at times).

    A school forum is not stimulating enough for students and they cannot be candid.

    A possible direction to go in (school clubs (as mentioned)) or a website that will benefit both teachers and students. Have a section of the website to cater to teachers where they can post class assignments, tests, tips, etc... (by class). Get the teachers to use the website inturn they will push their students to use the website. (ie. check for assignments, due dates, test dates, etc...) this leaves little excuse for a student to forget an assignment or test...

    The trick is to sell the website to the teachers (how will it benefit them), then teachers sell the website to the students.... (here's how it will benefit you)

    You can keep a section of the website as a forum but add other things that teachers can use...

    hope this helps.

    gorda
     
  12. 7031 macrumors 6502

    7031

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #12
    One thing I'd like to say, is that you should perhaps use less separate forums. For example, just have one for each subject. Just looks cleaner that way.
     
  13. Anderson3133 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #13
    Alright here are some nice simple and easy ways to get this job done at NO COST.
    1) If you guys have a newsletter/ or newspaper ask them to write an article about it...
    2) PTA Meetings or whatever, have the teachers mention to the parents that there is a help website and have them refer them to your website
    3) The simplest and easiest by far would be announcements....
     
  14. werther macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #14
    Have you tried offering punch and pie?






    edit: I am just kidding and to be honest, I wish I was as productive as you are when I was in school. Anderson's suggestions seem sound. I cannot, however, think of anything that would've attracted me to a school related web site when I was in school.

    edit: except perhaps ....punch and pie.
     

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