Do Instruction and Advertising Mix?

We want to provide a sophisticated Web site – one that teachers, students, and parents will use at school and home for instruction and homework activities. One staff member suggested we use a service that specializes in designing and maintaining school/district sites for no up-front cost. Apparently the company generates its revenue through ads that would be on the site. What are your thoughts about moving in this direction?

I hadn’t heard about this particular strategy before, but the idea of providing a service to educators in exchange for advertising space is not new. Schools and districts have grappled with various iterations of this issue for decades.

Before going down this road ask, “Why do companies want to place ads where students will see them?” The answer: because kids ages 10-17 spend about $120 billion per year! And, some experts believe that ads encountered in a school setting carry more weight with students because they assume that educators have given the ads a ‘seal of approval.’ I understand that limited finances make it tempting for a school or district to explore this option, but the whole idea makes me very uncomfortable.

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