In 2016 we chose to redevelop our tired website. We looked at many providers and it became very clear we wanted to use Cabu to action this with us.
Cabu offer a very user friendly platform that is customer focused. What it offers people viewing our website is a unique, personalised view of our school and its operation. Crystal clear photos, clear text, the ability to translate the entire website into a multitude of languages are just a few of the dynamic features. For a community like our with 57 nationalities this is a vital link for us when communicating with our families and getting them involved in school life. We look for as many ways as possible to ensure our communication is received. The translation capabilities of the Cabu software are second to none.
Websites are only as good as the information on them. Schools are dynamic places; hence websites need constant updating. With the hands on staff training this is something we can do in-house now, which means our website stays relevant and up to date.
Another key feature of the Cabu package is the training. Staff receive friendly and practical training sessions and are able to use their new skills immediately. I learned how to write our newsletter directly onto the website yesterday and today I have done just that after one, one-hour session. Our newsletter can then be published, automatically emailing out to parents and having the capability of translating them, which streamlines the whole newsletter process. It is mobile friendly as well.
We have some students and teachers about to undergo some exciting training, which I am sure will enhance our learning programmes. The students will be able to publish authentically on our website displaying their creation, what they were learning and why within a secure area, password protected. This is a highly effective way to increase student agency.
The investment we have made with Cabu has been money well spent and I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone looking for a modern, personalised, professional looking, high functioning website to best display their organisation.
This is the second time I have started a new website and online newspaper with Cabu. They have been amazing in their service and ideas in both cases. Kim’s help with applying for funding to help us set up, was invaluable. Leesa’s continual support and help with training myself and my staff has been efficient and instant! They are always ready to explain patiently when we get stuck, and when needed just solve problems behind the scene without us having to do anything ourselves.
The options on the website are really good, from display to surveys.
The online paper is a really useful and collaborative tool which is fantastic in helping online learning for students anytime and anywhere where there is an internet connection. Teachers and students can collaborate on writing behind the scenes before publishing their final pieces of writing. It is a really useful site appropriate to enhance the learning that happens at our school.
I would recommend CABU to anyone who wants to embrace current learning ways.
Hi, my name is Craig McKernan and I am the principal at St Francis Xavier Catholic School in Whangarei and I have been asked if I would write a testimonial for Cabu. I usually shy away from these requests but because we are so happy with the service and the product I felt that I should share our story with you.
Until last year our school managed its own web site with mixed success. We then decided that we would approach a company to help us build one that was going to be flexible and user friendly to meet our needs. After approaching several web site builders and individuals we were amazed at the huge variations in their quotes and technical gooble de gook that we were expected to work through.
At around the same time the Tai Tokerau Principal’s Association held their annual conference at Waitangi and Cabu had a stall there. I approached Leesa and Kim about their product and the wheels were set in motion. I was promptly contacted the next week and an initial meeting was held.
I approached a staff member who had an interest in our web site and she agreed to be the “go to person” for it. Here is what she had to say.
Setting up a Cabu site was straightforward. Cabu provided 1-1 PD for the person/s responsible. It was easy to add new pages, add links, up-load PDFs and photos. Fortunately there are a lot of other schools that use this website software so there are plenty of ideas to help you decide on the layout, pages to add and types of information to have on your school website.
Cabu provide a graphic artist to help us design our banner/ logo. This was done with consultation and approval of the school. Photos on the front page can be added to and changed regularly so that they are current and add interest to the website home page. This helped to make it look attractive and exciting which is one of the things we were looking for in a school website. We did not want a boring static home page. We wanted a welcoming, interesting home page that could give visitors to our school website a window into who we are as a school.
Professional development was staged so we never felt overloaded with information. The facilitator, named Leesa, asked questions such as “What would you like your initial website to look like?” and she demonstrated how to add pages and upload information. She also introduced the online newspaper aspect of the site, and sold this concept to the staff. Leesa also gave us step by step instruction sheets to help us remember how to set up and add information to the site.
One of the ideas/ opportunities that Cabu provide is an online newspaper which children and teachers can add to. This gives readers information about what is happening in the school. It also gives classes the opportunity to share their work with the wider community. Children can be given PD to become online class authors for the online school newspaper. Classes that have blogs can still have a link set up through the website for parents and the wider community to access.
Feedback from parents has been very positive. They find it easy to navigate the site and access any information they need. It is also easy for them to leave a comment if they wish.
So, there you have it. What used to be a chore has actually become quite fun and we now have a site that is interactive, informative and is developing as we all become more confident and proficient.
Best of luck
Our school has been lucky enough to have Cabu! develop our new website – a much needed step forward from where we were before. We are very excited by the fresh new look and the opportunities that the Online Newspaper allows for parents and students to engage over the students’ learning. This is very motivating for the students and is enriching the classroom programmes, as they now have a real audience for their writing.
We feel that we can update our parents more easily with information and upcoming events, improving communication and the timeliness of this. The website is easy to use for all of us and this makes a huge difference to the willingness of staff to keep information fresh. The Cabu! team have been excellent to deal with throughout and they are always responsive to our feedback and requests. We feel the website meets our needs beautifully. Thank you Cabu!
I am the Senior Teacher in charge of e-Learning at Dargaville Primary School. We have been working with Cabu since the end of the first term this year.
Since the very first introduction to Cabu we have been excited, motivated and found the whole experience a breeze. Leesa spent a day introducing the website and provided excellent handouts that explained everything in detail. Cabu is extremely user friendly and is now being used by almost every staff member. After our first session we couldn’t wait to get started.
I have now trained staff members and students alike. We have a key group of students who are authors. They write their own posts, and encourage their teachers to add to the website. The children help to keep the website up to date, which encourages our community to visit it regularly. The benefits to the school are huge. Parents are kept up to date with up coming events, they see work and photos that represent the learning that takes place at D.P.S., they have access to the newsletter and also have access to school information online. They leave positive comments which encourage and validate the learning that is taking place. Families overseas are also able to keep up to date with what is going on at D.P.S..
At every turn Cabu, in particular, Leesa has been beside us. Their help and support has been invaluable. Whenever I have had a question Leesa has responded within hours. She has encouraged me and offered advice when needed. Leesa is such a friendly and easy going person to deal with. She speaks in terms we understand and nothing is ever too difficult. She always has screenshots and instructions at hand, to guide us through certain tasks. Leesa is always happy to answer even the most stupid of questions.
Cabu is one of the easiest programmes I have ever used. It has added another dimension to the learning of the children at D.P.S. The children are motivated to work on their posts and excited to put something out there for the rest of the world to see.
I would recommend Cabu to any school wanting to have their own website or e-Learning site.
Towards the end of the 2011 school year, Ruakaka School was very fortunate to be part of an exciting new initiative in schools – the creating our own on-line newspaper. This newspaper is connected to our school website which makes it accessible for not only our families, but the wider community.
Although we are still in the development stage of our newspaper, we can already see huge spin-offs coming from this.
It is giving our children the chance to use student voice, plus an opportunity to find out what is happening around our school. Alongside this, it is also teaching them investigative skills, reporting skills and how to use multi-media processes.
One of the other wonderful aspects of this initiative is that the children do not necessarily have to be great writers – they can become involved in a variety of other ways – interviewing, taking photographs, performing for videos or recording them, plus the technical side of putting posts up on the site.
We have called our newspaper the “Ruakaka Navigator” which fits in very well with our Vision statement.
“To be a place of innovation and creativity, where everyone pursues excellence, and becomes their own navigator in all areas.”
The on-line newspaper experience allows the children to be innovative and creative, they can pursue excellence, and they certainly can become navigators of their own learning.
I would strongly encourage other schools to be part of this wonderful opportunity and am happy to share our journey with them.
Thank you so much! The site looks great, very professional. It’s another huge milestone for us in creating the reality of our wee school community so thanks for being such a significant contributor to this. Honestly can’t thank you enough – I’m delighted!
We’re thrilled to be working with Cabu especially as we start out as a new school.