Disqus

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Old versus New Website

From the district communications:

Note on the web: We are on the brink of moving to our new CMS system -cut over will have in the next week.That means that the home page will display as the new layout, we'll still have some content on the 'old site' but will have easy to follow links to that content. So we are at a very 'awkward' stage where we are pushing to finalize content and communications for the "go live."

Here's the thing - I have not found any "links" to information from the old to the new. There is nothing on the main page OR News and Calendar page to tell you to go to the new website for more and updated information.

If you go to the new website it says this:

The Jan. 28 transition is a major step in the improvement of the District website. In December 2010, Seattle Public Schools invited families, staff and the community to preview the District's updated website which featured a new design, improved Web-based tools and easier-to-navigate Web pages. In the next phase on Jan. 28, significant new tools will be available – such as the ability to synchronize a personal mobile calendar with the District calendar, and a tool that will automatically translate Web page into Cantonese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

This is all good and well BUT only if you have the idea, "Hey, I think I'll look at the new website."

The Transportation page finally has the info on the Transportation plan meeting (but this should be on the main page or News and Calendars). This is great but why does it take prodding from outside the district to get this stuff on their website? The meeting is in two days and affects hundreds of children and parents. This is not new to them - they knew it was coming.

I'm sure at some point the district will tell you to check the new website or provide links but that isn't how it sits right now. I have no idea why Charlie and I and this blog and our readers are the first line of information for many parents rather than the district's own website.

6 comments:

L.E. said...

But thank goodness you do! Seriously, you provide an incredible public service that's not replicated anywhere else.

(signed, a local journalist and SPS parent)

SolvayGirl said...

Ditto to what L.E. said. I don't know how I would really know what was going on without this blog—certainly not through LEV or similar sites.

Josh Gage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anyone remember that Gates Foundation poured a bunch of money into Central last year to "transform" communications -- in the way that it deemed transformative of course, but hey, few can argue that changes needed to be made.

So I'd like to hear what Gates thinks of their investment, first-hand. Second-hand they appear not pleased. Here is my second-hand information -- That the head of the department is gone, but that the entire organization should have been upended long ago and that JSIS as a whole still does not have a clue about how to run communications.

That the website rollout turned into an exercise in IT logistics instead of an opportunity to embrace the community.

That community outreach and community schools have names attached on an org chart but no political capital or budget to be effective.

That leadership STILL doesn't "get" why they will be out of jobs sooner rather than later if they can't get this piece right. Why? Because they simply have never been a part of a District where steamrolling forward wasn't a better way to effect change. They continue to underestimate Seattle.

I hope someone with firsthand information proves me wrong. I doubt they will.

-skeptical-

Susan Sturms said...

Somthing mildly interesting (to me, at least) about the new SPS website. Apparently, they have deleted a lot of old data, forms, etc. from cache accessed by the new website search. I am not much of a technical smarty-pants, so I may be using the wrong terminology.

Here's what I do know: I mine the SPS website regularaly for special education information. For example, I went looking for the location of special education service models/programs for the 2008-2009 school year. ( I won't digress into why I was looking for it). I got nothing when I started my search from the new website home page. I backed into the old website home page and, voila!, I found what I was looking for.

This tells me I better get on it quick and save copies of stuff before it is lost to easy public access forever.

Do I sound paranoid?
Well, you know what they say, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you."

-Susan Sturms

Maureen said...

Thanks for that heads up Susan. I had better get to work saving my bookmarked links to SPS data into pdfs.