Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Focus - Webpage Creation

Every Friday I will be focusing on one resource, technology equipment, webpage, blog, etc. and offering insights, opinions, and how to's.  For today, Friday December 4th the discussion is going to be about Web page Creation; whether it is by students, teachers, or even administrators.  What options are there out there for students and teachers to create webapges?  What are the best options for teachers?  Here are my Top 3, plus some others if you are interested.







Weebly is my personal favorite.  Whether you are creating a teacher webpage for your classes, personal use, or for students as part of a project, I feel Weebly has the most to offer for those in education.  Weebly for Education allows a teacher to set up an account.  With this account you can create your own teacher webpage, as well as set up a class (40 students) so that your students can create webpages.  You can create more classes and get more students if need be.  Each Weebly also comes with the option of including a Blog as well.  Another great feature is that Weebly makes it very easy for teachers to embed video, audio, etc. on to their webpage.  Weebly has a "Pro" option which you can pay for...OR....you can refer 5 friends to create awebpage at Weebly and they will give you the upgrade to Pro for FREE!!
Students at my school are currently using Weebly in one class to create Book Review Webpages...Gone are the days of Book Reports.  When they are finished I will post some links.  For the students to create these webpages, the teacher created her class which provided her students with a Username and Password for them.  Students will then log on to Weebly to create their webpage. 
If you are looking for a place to create your webpage, then Weebly is for you!













Wix is an interesting website creation webpage.  Wix is different from the rest because you are creating a webpage using Flash.  By using Flash you are opening so many options for webpage design, especially images and backgrounds.  It has a simple drag and drop interface.  Pictures, text, videos, etc don't always have to be 90 degrees.  Since it is Flash you can alter what you input to your webpage making it more attractive.  There are thousands of preloaded graphics, backgrounds, clipart, and animation.  Embedding videos is as simple as searching, clicking on the video you want, fixing its size and placing it on your webpage.  I could spend hours on Wix creating a webpage because there are so many features it has that other webpages do not. 
Wix is more of a website for teacher created webpages.  I don't see it being used much by students to create webpages, unless you have an advanced class that you think won't get distracted with all features.  Create one for yourself.  You can never have to many webpages!











Google Sites is another options. You see a lot of school districts using Google sites for their teachers webpages. It is very user friendly and provides all the normal features that you would expect from Google.  Google Sites offer a lot of options and offer great accessibility, which is why it is in my top 3.








Webs (Formally freewebs.com)  offers free web domains and web creation.  It offers a lot of the same options as other websites...it is just it was the original and it is trying to keep pace with everyone else.  This site was used by students at my school for book reviews over novels they were reading.  Here are some samples:

Getting Lost With Boys - Hailey Abbott
The Pact - Jodi Picoult

You can see how easily webpages can created by students.  According to the Webs.com webpage though, if your site is inactive for 30 days they will delete it.  So unless it is an ongoing website, this might not be the best choice.






Yola is another good website creation tool.  Yola is free like the rest.  It also uses simple Point and Click/Drag and Drop features for creating your website.  There are no popup or banner ads that impose on your site like some others.  Yola's features though are rather basic unless you pay for the website creation with a Pro account, then you get more features.  For simple web creation by teachers and/or students, it will work just as the others.  If they would create an Education based option, then I think they would be able to compete to get teachers to use their services as much or more than Weebly.





 Terapad is another site that you could use for creating a website.  Has all the basic features of webs.com and yola.com.  A free terapad account is subject to advertising and branding as well, just like webs.com and yola.com.  So you can see their similarities there.  They also share many of the other common features making them pretty equal in my opinion.







 Wetpaint is another option for web creation.  Wetpaint is different in the sense that it markets itself as a social website creation tool.  Therefore most of what you see on the main page is websites for TV shows, Movies, Music, etc.  So it might be an option for websites based around those if your students were doing reviews.  Their slogan is "Where superfans are superstars" which should tell you what their audience is.  I guess if you have that motivated student who just wants to do a webpage for fun, you could show them this website.


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