Make Your Web Site the Place to Be
Many NEA Student Program chapters maintain a Web site to help them stay organized. It’s where they announce meetings, direct members to professional resources, promote volunteer opportunities, and provide officer and advisor contact information.
The Web site of the Texas State Teacher’s Association Student Program (TSTA-SP) at Texas A&M University has evolved to the point that students are “conducting business” online. “We make it easy to join [online]. It’s great for recruitment,” says President Katy Staff.
But what about social networking? It’s your generation’s greatest contribution to the online world so far, and some chapters, including the Student Wisconsin Education Association at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, aim to expand their Web sites to connect to other media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter so students can more easily connect with peers who share common goals.
Incorporating social media into student program Web sites is a direction everyone should consider, says Sheala Durant, a senior Web editor in NEA’s Interactive Media department, who also judged this year’s Student Program Web site competition. She suggests NEA Student Members think of their chapter site as a “social landing page.”
The TSTA-SP site is already a good example of a “social landing site”: Members are encouraged to join the program’s Facebook group, which serves as a social network and, as such, allows student members themselves to serve as resources.
“Social media, for this demographic in particular, is in the long run going to be better than a static Web site,” says Durant. She explains that an up-to-date site that takes advantage of social media is one that can “effectively recruit, retain, and inform its members.”
Go to the Student Program Web site competition
Check out the winning site of 2008, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Take a look at chapter sites across the country.