This is a guest post by Neil Pierson, Storyteller for Covenant Christian School in Sydney, Australia.
Christian schools are sometimes wary of the internet. Yet Covenant Christian School in the Northern Beaches of Sydney Australia is finding the school website and very active blogsite is helping build community.
In May 2008 the school of 800 students K-12 launched it’s fourth website. This one however was radically different in it included a blogsite. For more than 2 years they have been adding an average of two new stories every school day. The previous website had about 30 photos. This one already has over 7,000.
By including lots of photos as well as videos to the blogsite the existing school community is FAR more aware of what is happening at school.
The actual ‘product’ of the school hasn’t changed. There is still the same number of events, excursions and activities as before. Yet now the perception is we have far more going on at school. The only difference is we share far more news about it.
The school has grown more in 2 years than in the previous 10.
The blogsite also gives our parents the ability to share events at school with other members of their family and friends. As some parents only have kids in Junior School or in High School the blogsite lets them know what is happening right throughout the school. This is important for cross marketing.
When the website was dull no one in the existing community would send a link to it if people asked about the school. Now that our existing parents like the site they are far more willing to send a link to it when prospective parents ask about the school.
The website also creates a more accurate impression of the use of technology in the classrooms. When the website was dull – with no reason to return – it gave the impression the school was not embracing technology and was old fashioned.
Check out the three links sections of the Covenant Christian School Sydney website:
How is your using social media or blogs to develop community online and offline? What steps might you take online to develop community?