Developed to showcase the school’s intelligent and practical use of the latest Web 2.0 tools to enhance its communications, the site pulls together website content and various Web 2.0 feeds in a way that makes them easy to access and use.
Silverpoint and The Roxbury Latin School developed the site (http://www.roxburylatin.org/url) by first establishing a set of high-level goals: to create a section of the website where constituents can get information about what's happening today/this week, access multimedia content, subscribe to content, and access social media links.
To accomplish these goals, the site was developed to move as much content as possible out from behind previously password-protected areas of the site while retaining the ability for users to access portal pages and the school’s online directories. The site contains:
Homepage - headline news, calendars, athletics schedule, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter feeds
Subscriptions Page - where visitors can subscribe to RSS and iCalendar feeds and join the school on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn and FriendFeed
Live Stream Page – displays a FriendFeed aggregation of the school’s various social media content streams
myuRL – portal pages where users can customize the content they receive and search directories (which are also printable)
Flash “Mod” Clock – displays date, time, day type, period and time left in period
Andrew Katz, Roxbury Latin’s Directory of Technology, points out that “we wanted to make it easier for our constituents to access all the amazing content produced by our students and faculty — video, photos, writing, and audio — but we weren’t quite sure how to go about it. Silverpoint helped us design and execute a plan that produced uRL, our new online community. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
“We believe that the uRL site provides a good model for other schools to follow. Used correctly, Web 2.0 and social media tools do not have to ‘fracture’ a schools online communications strategy. Rather, by establishing goals and focusing on design and implementation, these tools can be incorporated into a school’s website in a way that truly enhances a school’s communications capabilities”, comments Andrew McKenzie, who lead the project for Silverpoint.