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Joseph School ninth-grade students in Liza Butts’ computer applications class redesigned and took on the management of the city’s josephoregon.com website. In the fall, the kids took pictures to update the art on the site. (KATY NESBITT/The Observer)
Joseph ninth graders take on task of creating new website for city
JOSEPH — When the City of Joseph was faced with looking for a new website vendor, a team of computer experts came to the rescue. The Joseph School’s Computer Applications class took on the task of managing the website this fall and the new design rolled out the first of the year.
Liza Butts, a city council member and computer teacher at the Joseph School, said she put the duties of managing Joseph’s website in the able hands of her ninth-grade class after they warmed up designing their own, personal websites using Google Sites.
“It was kind of my idea,” Butts said. “We were in a city council meeting and we knew the webmaster and the josephoregon.org was expiring Jan. 1, so I said my class could probably take it on, and so we did.”
After getting some experience designing websites, Butts let the kids loose on the city armed with cameras and camera phones. Class member Haven Johnson said they chose a bright, sunny October day to shoot pictures for the site’s tabs.
“It was so pretty,” Johnson said.
Part of the design was choosing theme colors, which the kids said they all easily agreed on blues. The blue of the sky the day they took their pictures helped make that decision. The students said the color choice was influenced by the Wallowa Mountains, Wallowa Lake and the incredible hue of the sky the day they photographed Joseph.
Johnson said other decisions the class made were placement of drop-down menus and sideboards. Cayden DeLury said they wanted to make the pages look professional and not
Butts said the existing site had a really good foundation.
“We didn’t come up with new information, but the kids did add features for the city park page,” Butts said.
The students said a good looking website should attract more tourists.
“If someone sees all these pictures, they might actually come check it out,” Kevin Matthews said.
Ally Cooney said their site will help “get the word out about our town.”
During the design Butts said all of the students had access to the site, but now she alone has permission to edit it now that it’s gone “live.”
“We didn’t go into the technical aspects of the website during the design,” she said. “I did the transfer over Christmas break and now I can show them from the domain server how it all works.”
The students’ next project is to create and manage their own “dream team” sports teams.
“We came up with our own sports franchise as if we were the owner of the team and now we are building websites,” DeLury said.
Butts said another assignment coming up spring semester is learning all of the Microsoft office programs and preparing for the Microsoft Specialist Exam.