Weebly for Education - Student websites
Weebly for Education - How to get your students making their own websites
I've been using Weebly for a couple of years now to run my own websites and have found it to be an extremely powerful, but easy to use tool for creating websites from scratch with no coding knowledge required.
When I mentioned Weebly at the school I teach in, I was asked if I could set up a website club and get some of our pupils creating their own sites about their hobbies and interests. It sounded like a good idea, so I started doing some research into how best to set up a school-based club using Weebly. This was when I discovered Weebly for Education. I registered for a free account and within one afternoon session, four pupils had all created and published their very own websites.
So what is Weebly for Education and how does it work? I hope to answer these questions and more in this article.
Photo courtesy of education.weebly.com
What Weebly does
Weebly is a free drag-and-drop website builder and web-hosting service with over 12 million users. You start by selecting a name and basic background design and layout for your website. You then create pages by drag-and-dropping boxes to the page. You can choose from text boxes, picture boxes, files, titles etc. and fill them in as you wish. You can even add Google Adsense adverts easily and start earning revenue from your website (although I wouldn't usually recommend this on school based websites).
Photo of my website on Weebly's website builder courtesy of www.weebly.com
With Weebly for Education, you can have up to 40 student accounts alongside the traditional two sites you get with the original Weebly account. Each of these sites can be monitored and moderated by the teacher, and students have access to the usual text and picture boxes as well as the ability to link to YouTube videos, add HTML boxes with their own code, Google Maps and more. All of this is completely free. The sites are all publishable to the internet under the address http://websitename.weebly.com and SEO (search engine optimization) is extremely easy with Weebly's friendly interface. Students can easily add alt text to pictures and add Metatags for their key words without needing to know any HTML or CSS.
Get Weebly for Education in your classroom
The banner below will take you to the Weebly for Education site where you can get your school set up and your pupils making their own websites in no time.
My maths website made using Weebly
As mentioned above in the links list, Doing Maths is my favourite of the websites I have designed. Using Weebly has made it extremely easy to create a professional looking website with downloadable files, watchable videos and more. I love the HTML box, which allows you to add bits of HTML code to whichever part of the page you would like. I don't know enough code to make a website from scratch, but it's very easy to find code online so that you can add Facebook 'like' boxes, visitor counters etc.
The picture is my own screen print of my website www.doingmaths.co.uk
School Website Club
The very first afternoon session of our School Website Club was on Friday 9th November 2012. In the space of three hours, all four students in the class had created and published their very own websites. I also created a very simple club website to show the students some of the things that can be done using Weebly.
The class all enjoyed the session and are learning new things every week, improving their websites and finding ways to increase traffic to them. My hope is that if any of the students need a website in the future for their own use (for business or personal), they will remember the skills they have learned in Website club and be able to create their own site instead of paying for somebody else to do it.
My own photo of the website club site.