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Setting Up A Web Site For Your School: An On-line Presentation

Image: A Globe
The following presentation was first developed for on-line display at the 1996 MICCA Conference in Baltimore, MD on March 14 and March 15. It has been expanded for use at the 1997 Connected Classroom Conference. This guide is not meant to be a definitive, all-encompassing tutorial on web design. Rather, it is intended to be a starting point for school web site generation and management. Feel free to download or otherwise distribute these documents as long as credit is given to the author and the website of North Hagerstown High School. Your comments are appreciated. Mail them to George Cassutto at

*Table of Contents

What is the World Wide Web and how can it be used for learning?
Getting Connected To The Net
What type of connection is needed for a school to have its own web site?
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): What is included in an account?

Getting started on the Home Page HTML: The Language of the Web

Using Paint Shop Pro For Your Website's Images

What Content Can Go On A School Website?

What makes a School Website "cool and compelling?"

Getting The Word Out: "If you build it, they will come."

Issues In School Website Management

Useful Documents

Note: Internet World's April issue contains numerous resources on this topic. A list of the URLs found in that issue has been placed on this server for your reference.


What is the World Wide Web and how can it be used for learning?

The World Wide Web can be seen as part of the Internet that allows for quick, global access from computer to computer. Using hypertext, commands that are embedded in the text of an online document, the user will encounter a variety of media to:

  1. gain information through on-line research;
  2. provide information by posting home pages and by sending electronic mail, and
  3. communicate with other students and scholars all over the globe.
The growth of the World Wide Web has made it an important tool in the educational process. While the techniques still need to be refined, the WWW can be a powerful presentation tool for teachers, an on-line library for students, and a vehicle for self-exp ression for all members of the educational community.

To The Table of Contents


Getting Connected To The Net

A school wanting to have its own website will need to have some kind of connection to the Internet. The essentials for this connection are a computer, a modem, and a phone line. Then the school will need to be linked to the Internet by some sort of Intern et Service provider. These can take a number of forms, and will be discussed below.

To The Table of Contents


What type of connection is needed for a school to have its own web site?

A school can choose to become part of the Internet and obtain a dedicated leased line that allows for high speed data transmission intended for a large number of users. Usually, a school's local area network (LAN) would be linked to that data line and eve ryone one the network would then have high speed access to the Internet. A powerful computer is needed to act as the file server for the rest of the LAN, and it also acts as the storage space for your school's web documents. Since global access to the sch ool's web server would be needed, the webserver would need to be active 24 hours per day. Moreover, the type of dedicated line that provides the school's link to the Internet can be quite expensive.The positive and negative aspects of a setting up a web server for the school are listed here:

Pros and Cons of Setting Up A Web Server[1]



School has control over features and contentTakes time to set up
Security is up to managerRequires high level of training
Can be used internally within the schoolRequires careful configuration
Fast and efficientRequires dedicated link and hardware

Schools can choose to lease space on the web by obtaining an account with an Internet Service Provider, or ISP. Such an account not only provides access to the WWW via both text-based (terminal) or graphical (SLIP/PPP) interfaces, but it usually includes a certain amount of space on the provider's computer where web documents can be stored. The usual amount is 5 megabytes (MB) of space, but some providers are more generous. The pros and cons of leasing space from a provider are listed here:

Pros and Cons of Leasing Space From an ISP[2]



Full time accessNo control over the server itself
Costs less than dedicated lineMust compete with other users for access
Requires little training and maintenanceService provider must be reliable

A teacher or school can obtain an internet account by purchasing one through a local Internet Service Provider or by having an account donated. Nevertheless, as the Internet becomes increasingly integrated into the educational community, more school districts are purchasing connectivity and allocating it to schools, thereby restricting its use and the content that can be placed on school web sites. It may be a good start to inquire at your district's central office as to what the administration's technology plans are and how your school fits into them.

*To Table of Contents

*To Internet Service Providers (ISPs): What's Included In The Account?


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