I serve as CTO of a school systems with 15 schools. Right now, our Public Information Officer handles the district website. While he does an amazing job keeping it up to date, he would be the first to tell you he would like additional functionality like photo albums, an integrated calendar, and video posting. He runs the site using Kompozer, a great HTML WYSIWYG editor, but does not do much with CSS, advanced HTML, or other technologies. Our schools each run their own site. Obviously, you would see a hodge podge of web content.
About a year ago, he came to me, wanting to look at some consistency, that would also give us advanced functionality. At the time, with some of my background, I thought of Joomla!, but really did not want to manage another CMS, after spending considerable time supporting Moodle and exploring Mahara. We looked at some of the proprietary products out there, the eChalk/Schoolwire types, but those cost money, and even with eRate discounts, we would be on the hook for $10,000 per year or more, that we just could not afford.
This summer, the PIO will go back into the classroom and a new one will be hired. I finally decided to seize upon the opportunity and develop Joomla!. Joomla!, an open source content management system (http://www.joomla.org/), allows for a lot of flexibility and scalability, for school districts and other entities. It will give us the flexibility we need, while also giving us advanced capabilities, like video and photo albums. It will also give us the opportunity to brand our schools, keeping everything, the look, the navigation, consistent across the district.
I recently put up a demo here at K12OSC, that you can find here. As in the picture above, I am still stuck on the template, but I hope this will become a sandbox to explore. I also will implement another sandbox at work on a virtual machine, to just explore and construct a site. Again, this demonstrates why open source rules. You download and install an application, pay a support contract, if necessary, and work with a community that wants to solve the same problems you face. Joomla!, like Moodle, comes with many built in modules and many you can install later to expand the functionality. Great things! So, while we embark on this project, knowing it will last the whole school year, I am excited in finding another open source solution to our problems.