Will hosting our school's website on an external server be a bad idea?

Our technology coordinator is very very particular about how the server at our school is used. Only frontpage can be used, teachers cannot post directly, changes must be emailed to her, no blogging, no wikis, no cms, etc...

She used to manage the school's website, but I have newly been put in charge of it, but she still controls the server. It is currently a thought to host our school website on an external server to avoid hassles. Are there risks? Is there funding that will be taken away such as ERATE?

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That's a good idea. I need to check out where these restrictions are coming from.

Question... Do restrictive powers in any school system come from policy or position. Here's what I mean. I want to do a student blog through edublogs. It would be set up so that only what I approve can be posted. If there are no policies against it, can my district technology coordinator really stand in the way?

Again, I'm not an IT basher... I totally respect the position.
Our district also uses SchoolWorld - an excellent product for the following reasons:

a. outsourcing freed bandwidth. Usage reports showed that most web visits occurred during the day. This meant the same time students and staff were going out to the Internet, web visitor were trying to get into our network to access the homepage.

b. diversified ownership. All teachers have accounts and use a webportal to post content and manage the site. This means teachers can access their pages from any Internet connection. We found most staff work at home - this was a big selling point.

c. precreated tools. Why recreate the wheel? Products like SchoolWorld provide all the tools needed to build a quility site!

d. free tech staff to do what they do best. There are enough projects for IT staff to work on. Outsourcing the website allows more quality time to other technologies.

Just my two cents ... it is working for our district.
My school district we do a variety of things with the web. We do host our own website but moved external servers for blackboard, blogging, wiki and other things. I like to convience of having some of the web features on an external server so if our connection goes down we still have some of our services up. Although with the new apple leopard server, we will be opening up our district to wiki, blogging and ical (web calendar) that is built into the system. I you want to have things like blogs, wiki's and cms's you will need a few volunteer to help filter content. You may want to give some of the staff editorial, and administrative right to delete and edit contect as well as delete and add users who violate your internet policy.

Alot of tech coordinators, have power and control issues that have nothing to do with erate skewing the type of system they use and the type of web editor. (Very old school thinking) I would look at the erate information and see what is required, I have not messed with the erate info. for about two years. I am sure that it does not specifically limit the usage of the server to front page or who posts to it via.

But we do need to take precautions for the safety of our students - information, and well being.



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