September 29, 2008 / Fall 2008 / Staff Management

Get online with ClassScene

Written by Idea File Staff

Imagine students at your school participating in online media sharing. Not just at home, but on school time using school computers, and the administration not only condoning it, but participating.

There is no need to imagine — that reality is here with ClassScene, which will allow students to create a social network of photos and videos in an environment where schools can verify the identities of all network participants, as well as review and control all media files published to the network.

ClassScene can let students have fun posting images and videos, and be a useful tool for classes such as yearbook and broadcast, while enabling administrators to reach out to parents and the community.

ClassScene is the result of a year-long effort to develop a website devoted to providing schools with a dedicated, safe and secure channel for creating and sharing social media. Schools that have used the program in test form since 2007 will recognize the same stringent security and control features implemented with the launch of the beta site in 2007, including identity verification, sex offender database filtering, and full compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

New features being introduced include many suggestions obtained directly from schools, including

  • Faster bulk file uploading,
  • Better categorization and search features,
  • A more customizable media gallery,
  • A more user-friendly sign-up process, and
  • A network with state-of-the-industry backup and redundancy capabilities.

With no precedents to follow, getting feedback from schools on how to better serve their needs was critical to the development plans of the website. To help facilitate such feedback, Walsworth implemented the “SceneStars” program, awarding a free laptop computer every month to the school that offered the most ideas on how to improve the ClassScene site. Each idea was carefully evaluated for resource requirements and benefits and prioritized. The outcome resulted in a project plan to deliver the first media sharing site designed specifically for schools.

Social media networks, such as Facebook, hold great promise for schools as a tool to introduce students to 21st century communication technologies, as well as a means to link parents, students, educators and community members in a way that fosters school pride, individual achievements and team spirit. However, most U.S. schools have blocked access to these sites from their networks for fear of being held liable for exposing their students to inappropriate content, or worse, child predators, both of which have infamously been associated with such sites.

“Social networking and media sharing no longer have to be missed opportunities for schools,” said John Burgess, CEO of Interactive Media Holdings, LLC, which partnered with Walsworth on the development of ClassScene. “With ClassScene by Walsworth, schools can now take advantage of this exciting new phenomenon, as well as provide students, parents and faculty with a safe networking environment within which they can create, share and keep digital memories forever.”

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.