Technical: Use software and other tools appropriate to the task.

Artifact Context

EDTEC 541, Web Multimedia Development
Website for DeLaveaga Elementary School
Individual Project

I designed and developed the web site for a dual immersion program housed at DeLaVeaga Elementary School. The Dos Alas Dual Immersion Program was established six years ago as stand-alone program within in the Santa Cruz County Schools district.  The program aspires to provide resources that will inform current and prospective enrolleeā€™s families about the dual immersion instructional model and communicate site-specific information. Internet-based resources allow parents and guardians to learn more about the instructional model at their convenience, are cost effective, and can be updated with less effort than hard copy handbooks. During the initial meeting with the school's principal, I agreed to redesign and develop the website for DeLaveaga Elementary School in addition to the working on the dual immersion program's web site.

Link to Standard

I conduced front-end analyses to inform my design decisions. Data collection and analysis ensured that the web site meets stakeholder's needs.  I then selected two Adobe products and two web 2.0 tools for use in this project. 

Software or Tool and Use

Adobe Dreamweaver - Web site authoring software

Adobe Photoshop - Manipulated images for site, banner, and navigation

RSS Calendar - Created two calendars, one for the school and one for the program

Yahoo Groups - Communication and marketing tool

The website is designed to adhere to web design principles communicated by Robin Williams and John Tollett (2005) and to comply with section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is important to note that my lack of familiarity with 508 regulations and a short time line for completion may result in elements that are not fully accessible.  The visually impaired individual testing my site using a screen reader did not find compliance errors in her review.

Challenges and Opportunities

I was faced with scope creep during my first meeting with the school's principal.  The individual who was working on the redesign of the school's website had not delivered as promised.  I agreed to take on this work in addition to the work involved with the dual immersion program web site.  He liked that I was developing each page of the dual immersion site in the Spanish and English language.  We decided to create each page of the school's site two languages as well.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into because this was my first experience building a web site. 

Learning to use Dreamweaver and Photoshop while making progress toward a deliverable was difficult.  My instructor, Dan McDowell, was an incredible resource for this project. He explained how to use Dreamweaver and Photoshop to realize my vision for the site when I couldn't figure something out on my own. With his assistance, I created the buttons and banner and tweaked the template to accommodate my customized elements. Even with Dan's help, the project consumed more time than I initially budgeted for completion.  I now have a better grip on the amount of time it takes to develop a website from scratch and create realistic time line for completion in the future.

The previous developer for the school's site placed a web-based calendar, RSS Calendar, in the page he completed.  After investigating the calendar's features, I created new accounts for the school and dual immersion program so that each could have an individualized calendar of events. I also set up a Yahoo Group for the program to be used as a communication tool for the site. In two years, seventy-two individuals have found the group on their own and requested membership.  I've learned that social networking sites can be powerful marketing tools.

Adding media to the site proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.  Permission to publish photos of students and their school projects must be given in writing by parents and guardians.  The school's ill developed storage of the release forms prevented the addition of many photographs and videos clips to the site.

This project gave me the opportunity to develop new skills that I share with my colleagues and my students.  Although the process was difficult, I appreciate the opportunity to round out my technological skill set.  I look forward to teaching my school's first web design course in the 2009-2010 school year.  I selected the Williams and Tollett Web Design book used in this course as the text for the course I will teach.  I am prepared to guide my students through the web site development processes I practiced in this class in addition to facilitating the use of software. 

Professional and Personal Growth

This work represents personal strengths I bring to the field of educational technology:

  • Autodidactic learning
  • Willingness to experiment and persist with new software and tool
  • Ability to select software and web 2.0 tools that support user's needs

Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned relating to the field of educational technology is that of planning for growth.  I was so focused on delivering the site by a certain date that I did not thoroughly consider the maintenance aspect of the dual immersion program pages. My son attends the program and I built the web site; I became the web master by default. I created an onerous update process by not housing the program pages in a server for which I have direct access.  The site's growth is seriously hindered by this issue.


     Tollett, J. & Williams, R., (2005). The Non-Designer's Web Book: an Easy Guide to Creating, Designing, and Posting Your Own Web Site (3rd edition). Berkeley: Peachpit Press.       

     Worldwide Web Consortium (n.d.) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Retrieved July 4, 2009 from