4. Identify Resources
What we want and what is possible don't always match. Our first reality check
might be to create a content inventory list.
List all the items you will need to accomplish your goals. These items can be
software, digitized photos, animation, specific tasks, content. Then determine whether you
already "have" or "need" that item. Once your resource requirements
are written down, it is much easier to see whether your original goals are doable.
A sample inventory list might look like the following:
Prepare for Web
||Prepare for the Web
When you're reviewing your list you should be aware of the following items:
- Does this item rely on technology you're not
familiar with? This will happen in almost
every project. The problem arises when you have to learn too much in too little time. A
good rule of thumb: If you need several hundred hours just to learn how to animate a 3-D
- Do you have a lot of content that is going to
require permission to use? This is also to be expected. But, be aware. It
takes quite a bit of time to formalize permission, and you must have all permissions
complete prior to going public with your project.
- Do you have to produce original content; audio,
video, animation, graphics, writing? Each new
item takes time to not only create but to work in with the remainder of the content. If
your timeline looks a little tight, you might want to look at the content items on your
list and determine what is a really a "need" and what is a "want".
The following includes some specific items you'll want to make sure you address
as a resource.
Since most informal feedback about the project
that your students receive will come via email, it is important to have adequate Internet
email accounts. Ideally, each student, or team of students, will have access to their own
email account to read and respond to correspondence generated by their Web site. Many
schools are turning to some of the free
email-hosting services for student email accounts, some of which are designed
for students. If your students have access to email at school, be sure you adopt a school- or district-wide policy regarding email
accounts before you prepare them to go online.
At the minimum, you should be prepared to pass extensive email
communications back and forth through your own email account on a timely basis to promote
this informal kind of interaction.
Compose an equipment checklist. Do you need to reserve the computer lab? Can you borrow
computers from other classrooms for the duration of your project? Will the local computer
stores loan you some workstations for your project? Will they allow you to use their
scanner to digitize images? Many computer stores want to be your friend. For some
projects, computer stores have provided equipment, software and experts to help the local
Compose a software checklist to make sure you have the basic applications you need for
your project. If you are using commercial software, are they registered legal copies? Have
you downloaded the latest version of freeware or shareware from the Internet? Are all the
workstations using the same version? At minimum, you will want:
- a text editor, word processing program, or graphical HTML editor
- a web browser
- a graphic converter
Think of other people as a
resource. In addition to the students and staff at your school, identify the
"people" resources in your community. Many businesses have public information
officers or public outreach departments. Contact the Chamber of Commerce and your local
politicians. They can be very helpful in directing you to the right resources. Does your
town have a computer club or a speakers' bureau?
Permissions & Releases
You must obtain the proper
permissions for any documents or images that you include as part of your web site.
Since anything your students write or create is considered to belong to
them (i.e., copyrighted), you should also require parents to sign a release form or permission slip
to publish their child's work on the web.
If you include information or images from other Web sites, be sure to
request and obtain permission as you work and then cite them properly in your final