Public Website vs. SchoolSpeak
“We have a very good website. Why do we need SchoolSpeak?” The goals of your public website and SchoolSpeak portal are different.
School public website is its public face on the Internet. Visitors and prospective families check school website to learn about the school – where the school is located, how to contact the school, what programs do they offer, mission statement, accreditation, and how to apply. It is a marketing and recruiting tool. You want to tell a prospective family what your school stands for, how is it different, and why their child should enroll. You want to give them a taste of what is happening in the school, how school life looks like, how credible the teachers are, and the various achievements of the school.
SchoolSpeak is complementary to your public website. It is for the school community – administrators, teachers, parents and students. It has day-to-day operational and privileged information – school calendar, announcements, reminders, event or program details, homework and grades. It also has tools for the school community– scheduling parent-teacher conference, tracking fundraising, updating emergency and medical information.
Website information is public. It can be accessed by anyone. SchoolSpeak is a portal. Every user in the school – administrator, teacher, parent and student (if you want student to access the system) has a user name and password to access it. It can deliver privileged information. Information on SchoolSpeak cannot be accessed by all users. School can target information to specific individuals, class rooms or groups.
Many schools have started using their public website to electronically communicate to their parents. This is a good start. However, it has many limitations. It dilutes the purpose of the website and it is not an effective communication solution. More
Websites are usually static and created to showcase the school. Websites are not updated very often. Information on a public website is planned, approved and usually go through a web administrator for posting. SchoolSpeak is dynamic and the content is personalized to each user for effective communication. It is a productive tool for the school community. More