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Leaving a Digital Footprint

The article below was featured in the Florence Mining News (Vol. 131-No. 26) and the Iron Mountain Daily News (July 9, 2012).

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Leaving a Digital Footprint
By Justin Cowen, IT Technician
School District of Florence County

Walking through one of the local forests gives many the opportunity to see various footprints left by previous passerby. It can often be easy to track a deer moving through the forest or to find the swaggering path of a porcupine. For some, the ability to track these prints is the difference between telling the story of the one that got away and a freezer full of venison.

During this past year, the employees of the School District of Florence County have worked hard to establish their digital footprint. The school started a social-media presence on Facebook (www.facebook.com/florencecountyschooldistrict) and Twitter (@florenceschools). Through this digital footprint, the school was able to share updates, events, and pictures faster and to more people than ever before.

The school district team has decided to leave its biggest print yet by re-launching its website on July 9. The school’s new homepage can be found on www.myflorence.org. The process of getting this new website off the ground started back in February of 2012 when the School Board approved the updating of the website. Since that board meeting, a Webpage Advisory Group has been formed in the district, and students helped chose a new name for the district’s webpage. The new name, myflorence.org, helps showcase the idea that education goes beyond the walls of the classroom and that students truly play the most important part in their education.

The new website will allow the district to help create a unified and aesthetically-pleasing look across all the website pages. Staff members will be able to get announcements and resources out faster and in greater frequency to everyone in the area. Using the new website, teachers will also be able to strengthen their own digital footprints. Florence County School staff will be able to create their own websites to share their classrooms with students, parents, and the community.

If you travel to the district’s old homepages any time after July 9, you will be redirected to the new website. The school district team is excited about the opportunity to expand further its footprint this year and to use that footprint to strengthen and to improve student learning.

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1st Quarter….Check

November 9, 2010 4 comments

1st quarter of the school year is on the books and three left to go!  It was a busy quarter in many ways.  I implemented some new policies, introduced students to Edmodo, gutted and redid my school homepage, became more active on Twitter, and managing the middle school yearbook club.

Somethings went smoothly and others were a tad bumpy.  Edmodo has been a interesting twist in my classroom.  Not only has it replaced email, but has actually made me get organized!  I post my lesson plans everyday for students to see, I use it for collecting homework, and sharing files/links.  It has really changed the way I do my class.  Recently I was honored to teach other teachers how to use Edmodo at our last district in-service.  You can see an example of what I taught teachers by following this link: http://bit.ly/bvRvxH.  It was a pretty successful in-service and many teachers are now interested in Edmodo.

On the bumpy side my homepage revisions have not been as smooth.  I am a little happy with some new additions and changes, but I do not stay on-top of it enough.  The time I should be spending on it has been used tweaking Edmodo.  I am sure there is a way I can integrate the two, but there is just not enough time in the day.  One other problem is I do not have a way to monitor page views/visits right now.  Since the page is hosted through the school, I do not have access to the information.  Also, to view my page a person has to go through a complicated process, which I feel hinders parents visiting it.  Sometime in December I will  do a survey and see how much of an impact the website and/or Edmodo has.