Building Web Pages for First Nation Schools and Communities
Building a web site is a challenge, but not as hard as one might think. If you stay the course, the rewards and involvements of students is huge!
We hope that as you embark on your project that we can all learn and grow together, and that some of the lessons learned may be shared for the benefit of all.
We suggest beginning small, keeping the project limited to a few sub-sections. Eventually, your site may have newsletters, graduation pictures, and more, but all of those additions may be added in a modular fashion. A web page project is similar to any publishing project. You need people to produce content (text and graphics), editors, and a supervision system.
The second step is to organize a list of some possibilities, and to encourage imaginative applications and vision.
Before approaching the technical "how to’s" of web page design, it is best to consider "why" and "what" questions. As we consider what our objectives are, the project will begin to take shape. We will move toward what we call a "storyboard"... most often a sketch of how the pages of your presentation link together. A storyboard is equivalent to a blue print for a building. It is a critical step!
The following is an outline of one possible design. The "->" means that one page leads to another on the internet. Remember, unlike paper "page turners", internet users are used to interacting and clicking where they (not you) want them to go.
Index (home) Page An attractive welcoming page with limited text and some photos or graphics
There are many choices that may be made regarding development tools. In the rapidly changing world of the internet and software, the best choices tomorrow might be different than the ones today. One excellent source of information and rating systems can be found on the web at http://cws.internet.com. That is our favorite because new products are always being reviewed, ranked, and compared. Other sources of programs is http://www.tucows.com.
Now, we realize that it's not always as easy as 1-2-3, but ask around. It's not that hard!
In our experience, having a digital camera or scanner really got the momentum rolling. Industry Canada is willing to pay $600 for new or existing web pages. For imformation and application form, go to: http://www.schoolnet.ca/grassroots/e/project.centre/index.asp
Also, schools can pick up a quick $300 by participating in the "Generations Can Connect" program.
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