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WORDPRESS
FOR SCHOOLS
HOW WE SAVED TAXPAYER DOLLARS
(AND YOU CAN TOO)
WordCamp Dayton
March 21, 2015
WHO AM I?
CAMERON BARRETT
Sr. Manager of Web Site Technology
Newark Public Schools
Blogging since 1997 (Really)
CamWorld circa 1998-99
Sorry!
WHO?
OLD SKOOL WEB GUY
BUILDING OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITY
IN ENTERPRISE COMPANIES
WHAT?
BUILT SITES FOR
SADLY…
NONE OF THEM ON WORDPRESS
circa 2004
A young kid named Matt
BUT THEN…
DRUPAL DEV WAS HELLA EXPENSIVE
.NET EVEN MORE
DEAR LORD, WHAT A NIGHTMARE
REAL EXAMPLE
6 mos, 4 Devs, $1M Spent
COMMUNITY SITE FOR
ARMY BOARD OF GENERALS
REAL EXAMPLE
6 MONTHS, $1M SPENT
COMMUNITY SITE FOR
ARMY BOARD OF GENERALS
ARRRGH!
WAIT…
BUT WHAT ABOUT SCHOOLS?
ONE MOMENT…
JUST A TEENY BIT MORE ABOUT ME
TEACHING FAMILY
I GREW UP IN PLACES LIKE THIS
Parents were D.O.D.D.S. teachers
Pago Pago, American Samoa
TEACHING FAMILY
I GREW UP IN PLACES LIKE THIS
Parents were D.O.D.D.S. teachers
North Yorkshire, England
I CARE ABOUT
OUR SCHOOLS
But I’m not a teacher,
I’m a technologist
So, I decided to use my skills for the
greater good and fix the web site
technology problems in our public
schools once and for all.
14,000+
PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN U.S.
THEY ALL
HAVE WEB
SITES
CORRECTION!
crappy
THEY ALL
HAVE
WEB SITES
Crappy, they all look like this
WTF! Flash
WHY?
NOT THE SCHOOL’S FAULT
SCHOOLS ARE BEING SOLD CRAPPY,
CLOSED-SOURCE, VENDOR-
CONTROLLED, HORRIBLE, BARELY-
WORKING, CONFUSING UI, SaaS
SOLUTIONS
WHICH LEADS TO
SCHOOL WEB SITES THAT ARE:
NOT UPDATED FREQUENTLY ENOUGH
Not updated because “It’s too hard”
Bad templates à Bad Design
Bad clip-art Mania (Ahem, MS Word)
Confusing Navigation and IA
TECHNOLOGISTS IN
SCHOOLS SAY
“This vendor solution is closed-source.
I could fix these issues easily but…
…I don’t have access
to the source code!”
A WORD ON TAXES
Bear with me here…
Federal E-Rate dollars
Monthly fees on your phone bill
USF à FCC à E-Rate
E-Rate is used to pay for technology in
schools (it’s FREE money for schools)
A WORD ON TAXES
USF à FCC à E-Rate
A WORD ON TAXES
This E-Rate money is going away in
2015-16 fiscal year!
Which means school web sites will need
to be paid for by taxpayer dollars
YOUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS
The vendors will need to either become
way, way cheaper (not likely) or schools
will need to find less expensive
solutions (likely).
THE SOLUTION
Migrate school web sites to WordPress
THE SOLUTION
Get local technologists involved in a
Technology Committee who can make
recommendations to the school board
and superintendent.
Fire your vendors!
They are collecting taxpayer dollars
and delivering a bad product/service.
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
40,000 students, 75 Web Sites
WordPress Multisite
(Launched Aug 29, 2014 – Wahoo!)
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Up-front Development Cost
$30,240
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
WP Development
We used these awesome guys
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Dedicated Server Hosting Cost
$14,400
10 million PageViews/yr
Across 75 sites
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Hosting
We used this awesome company
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Year Two Dedicated
Server Hosting Cost
$7,200
10 million PageViews/yr
Across 75 sites
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Content Migration
$9,000
/plugins/schoolwires-importer.php
30,000 Pages, 100,000+ Media assets
(images, PDF files, etc.)
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Year One Cost
$64,400
Proprietary Vendor SaaS Solution
$59,024 per year
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Year Two Cost
$14,400
Proprietary Vendor SaaS Solution
$59,024 per year
CASE STUDY
Newark Public Schools
Five-Year Savings of
$158,720
HOW MUCH?
WordPress Saves us money!!!
I haven’t actually done the math for
14,000+ school districts but it’s easily:
$many millions
HOW MUCH?
Which can then be used for
Giving raises to teachers
Urban after-school programs
Restoring Arts & Drama
Pre-K Programs
Fresh, Modern, Responsive Design
Fresh, Modern, Responsive Design
New School Sites, Too!
(Where Shaq went to High School…)
Not Just Newark
Granite Schools (School District in Utah): 92 Schools
Not Just Newark
Granite Schools (School District in Utah): 92 Schools
Not Just Newark
Montclair, NJ High School (Rest of District in 2015)
Mobile App!
Powered by WordPress (with AppPresser)
Mobile App!
Push Notifications directly to smartphones
Saving $$$$$$$$$
Native iOS/Android development
for a Public Schools mobile app is
cost-prohibitive.
With AppPresser, we can do the
dev in-house for less than $1000
WordPress
as an
Application
Framework
This book!
What this
means is:
You can develop
your own apps
and 3rd-party
connections
The power of
enterprise systems
with the freedom of
open source
3rd Party Data Services & Apps
NOW WHAT?
http://k12presser.com
Now signing up districts for migration
summer of 2015
14,000+ Public School Districts
will have access to a free, open source, web site
management solution built on top of WordPress
“WordPress for Schools” Service Company
AND THEN…
Fire the vendors!
SUPPORT…
Schools need technology help
Help migrate your school district
to WordPress, volunteer to help
train the staff on the Admin, fix
design template problems, add
functionality, etc.
Stop paying expensive vendors
Q&A
Let me have it
I will also be available tomorrow
for more involved Q&A
THANKS!
Contact Info
CAMERON BARRETT
Sr. Manager of Web Site Technology
Newark Public Schools
cbarrett@nps.k12.nj.us
cameron@barrett.org
@camworld

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WordCamp Dayton 2015