In the past few years, the Internet has become something that is inherent to every aspect of life in North America, even more so for children than for the average technologically deficient adult. Because of this change, it has become essential to use the Internet in classrooms so as to make them seem a bit more representative of real life, and so a bit less painful and insipid. One easy way to include the Internet in everyday teaching is to create class websites, which can then be used in various ways. I have recently been introduced to Weebly, a tool that allows anyone to create a website freely and effortlessly, and I must admit I was pretty impressed. Simple, effective, versatile, it has everything you need to build an interesting and complete website.
Subscription to Weebly is free; all you need to have is an e-mail address to create your account. Once that is done, you can start building your website. Adding pictures, texts and titles, making multiple pages, changing your website’s setup, all of these options are available and easy to manage. Weebly does not require huge mastery of informatics; beginners will easily find their way through it. As can be read on WebsiteToolTester.com (who gave Weebly a 5 out of 5 overall rating), Weebly is “simple, uncluttered and easy to use, and that’s exactly what people with limited technical skills need when it comes to creating their own internet presence.”
As I started to create my own website, I was impressed by how quickly any modification is made on your page. Uploading pictures, changing setup or adding a page is made instantaneously. Mike Johnston’s review
seemed to indicate that this is not the case for other similar websites: “What I love about this website builder is its speed. It’s incredibly fast and the modules update immediately unlike some other builders I’ve used” (by the way, this review also explains very clearly how to use Weebly’s different options).
For school purposes, Weebly can have various applications. As suggested on Kate Klingensmith’s blog article
, Weebly can be used to set up a classroom website, where lesson plans, announcements, calendars and classroom policies can be put up. Another possibility is to create websites for specific projects; instead of handing out sheets with the instructions, students can be given the address and asked to complete all of the tasks present on the website. This can be very useful because it allows the teacher to include links, videos or documents that can help the students in their project.
Although Weebly is fairly simple and clearly organized, I have found two good tutorials which clearly explain how to maximise its use: one
on the basics of Weebly, and the other
on creating a classroom website with it.
But enough has been said about it now. All that is left is for you to go and try it out