Why not give students— particularly journalism students— their own free Web space, administered by the university?
The university would offer a simple Web-hosting service, allowing students with minimal development skills to update their sites. Think of it as a cross between GeoCities and a Web-based form.
The site could serve as:
For example, a student could use it's site to run their own Weblog, as well as posting their assignments.
This set-up would introduce the students to the basic concepts of HTML and Web-based publishing, and allow them to promote their skills and talent. To teach the students how to use the system, part of a relevant first-year course would be devoted to this publishing process.
While the student remained in enrolled in the program, the cost for could be absorbed by the school. Once a student leaves the program the school charge a profit-making hosting fee to keep the site accessible.
Implementing such a system would require not only a skilled administrator, but a high degree of patience. Once in place, however, the advantages appear:
- the marketing potential of a "paperless-university"
- applied technology training for staff and students
- spinning-off a portion of the system as a commerical Web-hosting service
- the system is a proprietary service which could then be licensed to other schools or Web companies.
Universties, in today's climate, need a way to distingush themselves, and demonstrate why they should be the first choice.
The act of offering students a free, service to promote themselves, will not only attract applicants and sponsors, it will demonstrate that future begins at this school.
So give the students a Web site and let all reap the rewards.