Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tech Tip Thursdays - Student websites


Have you ever built a website? If you have...then you know the excitement you had the first time you built one {You're in complete and total awe that you were capable of building it!} Can you imagine how your students would feel if they had the chance to build one? If you haven't built one before, it's much easier than you think! There are some really great programs out there!

 Last year, I had a tech club that met after school. One of our first tasks was to create a website that served as our technology portfolio. The kids were beyond excited to be able to build one! Out of all of the projects that I taught, I have to say the kids were most excited about building a website. {The cool thing was that they continued working on their site even after our club ended!} This year I plan on having each of my students in class create one to serve as their project portfolio, but also so they may blog on their individual accounts.

I prefer to use the free program from Weebly. There are 2 parts to Weebly, regular service and the education division. If you sign up under the education division - you get a ton of extra services that are perfect for a classroom setup. You can create up to 40 student accounts, as well as multiple classes. {WOWSERS!!} Your account will be able to oversee and control all of your student accounts {the regular service doesn't allow for this!} You have the ability to make your students' pages public or private {so you could just keep the website within your classroom}....and you can even password protect it {how cool is that?!?}. Another feature that I like about Weebly, is that it's a drag and drop design program. You and your students don't need to know HTML or any other type of code. It's very user friendly to be able to design {here's a great intro video to the site} But hands down the best thing about weebly is it's free and NO ADS!!!

Just a few ideas to use Weebly in your classroom, besides using it for just a website/blog:
On another note, something that is very near and dear to me...it might seem like common sense to us, but we need to remind our students that everyone around the world can see what we put on the internet. We need to have discussions with our students about what is appropriate to post online and how we must keep ourselves safe by not posting information that identifies who we are. 

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