Archive for Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Web site to cover JoCo education news

August 27, 2009

Johnson County Community College has launched a Web site designed to keep education at the forefront of public awareness.

The Web site,, made its debut Aug. 17 and shares news, photos and calendars of six Johnson County school districts and JCCC.

The site showcases news feeds from Shawnee Mission, De Soto, Blue Valley, Olathe, Gardner-Edgerton and Spring Hill school districts’ Web sites.

Melodee Blobaum, editor, said the site had been in the works since last fall.

“There are fewer places where education stories are told these days,” Blobaum said. “That was the intent to pull it all together for people who wanted to know about education in Johnson County.”

The first conversations centered on determining what information to put on the Web site and how to coordinate with each district.

Leigh Anne Neal, director of communication for Shawnee Mission USD 512, said the district was approached on how to incorporate education news into a centralized location.

The collaboration has run smoothly, thus far, with the Web site using RSS feeds to link to news on each district’s Web site.

Alvie Cater, communications director for De Soto USD 232, said the new Web site was a positive addition to the school district.

“The way I look at it, it’s another way for public schools to try and share info with our patrons and parents. It’s a positive win-win situation,” he said.

Both Neal and Cater said the new site wouldn’t add to the districts’ workload except for sending pictures or providing teachers for interviews.

“When we met, we talked about their vision and how they wanted to work together,” Neal said. “They want to incorporate things that would be easy to maintain. They were good about talking about ways to provide information that was easy to maintain.”

The site also features a calendar of events to keep patrons up-to-date on happenings in their schools, Blobaum said.

In addition to pulling news stories from district Web sites, will provide original content.

Blobaum said the original stories would feature the perspectives of each district.

“The idea is that this is a place where you can go without having to visit a lot of Web sites,” she said. “You can go and see at a glance what is happening in the county.”

Although the site launched on Aug. 17, Blobaum said she has received some feedback from viewers.

“I have had some people e-mail with questions, and the people who have seen it seem to like it,” she said.


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