In searching out Web 2.0 site, I stumbled on a company that really hits my sweet spot for functionality, ease of use, has many options for user interface, and also includes social participation somewhat like facebook. The site is called ischoolband.
I am a band director and I have had a website for my band for years. I have news, pictures, resources, videos, and a calendar (shelbybands). It works great and I have a great following locally and even a farther reach that covers the country through relatives of band students. The problem comes is that it is work-intensive and I have to format everything from scratch.
ischoolband is a new Web 2.0 tool that creates a complete environment for my students with less work for me and it has features that I haven’t gotten to or have no idea how to do.
The number one feature it has is a secure entrance. This is great. All students and parents get an opportunity to sign in and be a part of the site and it is password protected and it is also allowed through our school’s network.
This site is so deep it will be difficult to completely describe in this essay. But I will begin in saying you can create a location for each of your ensembles. From there you can add media and documents. This includes the syllabuses, pictures, parent information sheets, and media that include actual mp3 files and videos.
The calendar is another feature that is included in the site. We have a tremendous amount of gigs for all the various groups that needs to be organized and this does it simply. It also is an email generator that sends out automatic notifications and special announcements. There is also a place for the student to post about whatever they want. This means that they can socialize at school! With everything being stripped away from the access students have this is a real winner for me.
There is a cost to this program- $199/year, but the savings of time and the depth of it's functions make it well worth the cost. I have decided to add this tool to my website at school. We'll see how it works as I add content and get the students involved. Check out ischoolband!