Brewer High expands links on new site

Posted Oct. 06, 2009, at 9:42 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — The school board on Monday got a glimpse of the high school’s new Web site, www.brewerhs.org, which features links to popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and online video giant YouTube.

“We’re dipping our toe in the pool of social networking,” Superintendent Daniel Lee said Tuesday. “What we’re trying to do is get people, to get kids, to look at our Web site more often.”

By accessing Twitter and Facebook the School Department can update students about events that are planned during or after school, and YouTube is being used to display videos.

“We can put a lot of information about what’s happening on Facebook,” the superintendent said. “We’re experimenting with Twitter.”

A Tweet is a brief Internet message that is posted on Twitter and can be linked to cell phones or e-mails and updated as often as the user wants.

“E-mail is old-school now for [some in] this generation of kids,” Lee said.

So far, Brewer High has only sporting events posted on its YouTube link, but the possibilities for future posts are boundless, he said.

The new Web site, which also features a calendar, listings of events and stories about events at the school, was unveiled to teachers Tuesday, Lee said. The new site also has classroom podcasts, or digital recordings, and school event photos posted on Flickr, a photo-sharing Internet site.

Other featured links are for alumni and parents to stay connected to the school, Lee said.

“There is a lot you can find on there — homework, assignments, calendar [events], fundraising, Spirit Week, the Presidential Scholar, and parent and teacher conferences,” he said.

The alumni connection was created “so if you went to the high school, you can keep in touch” with other alumni and the School Department, the superintendent said. “It’s one way to reach out to them.”

As of Tuesday, 804 Brewer High School alumni had signed on to the site, he said.

“They’re obviously trying to connect with each other,” Lee said.

With the new Web site features, “we’re moving into uncharted waters” for a school district, the superintendent said, adding, however, that if the White House and the city of Boston can use the Internet and social networking site to communicate, why not Brewer?

The School Department is trying to teach students how to explore the World Wide Web in a safe and secure manner, he said.

“I think it will make a positive impact,” Lee said.

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