Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Wonders of Weebly

My students have been learning a number of Web 2.0 tools, photo modification, sideshows, the need for Avatars, etc.  Because of all of these different programs on different sites, we needed an area where all can be put, and that way, seeing the growth of their learning would help build confidence in students, would help them self-assess, and would help students in comparison, and analysis of different tools with the same purpose.  It is the hope that the students will be able to synthesis all these tools and come up with an analysis of which Web 2.0 tool is the best for what situation.  The  evaluation in this area is to make judgements of each tool with their own defined criteria of needs, for a specific project that is called for in any course or subject, not just my  course.

Weebly is a simple, free Web design and hosting system that takes nearly all the pain out of creating a site.  You use drag and drop features to create the pages.  As a teacher you can set up a class of 40 students, setting the user names and passwords of the students one by one, or by uploading a text file of students names, etc.  The program lets you print out all passwords and as the teacher you can lock up the web sites so no one can see the student sites unless they have a password that you set up.  This is for the security and safety of the students.  

Another excellent feature of this tool is their blog area, which you can use for critical thinking activities and also for peer assessment as there is a comment section for his area.  

Weebly has big gaps in its feature set (when dragging and dropping, sometimes the machine lags in this area and sometimes the embedding feature jams up the visual look of the site but by closing off the site and then opening it, all rights itself.  As a quick-and-dirty site host, it's not bad. I really like its simplicity. You can start by selecting a page layout from Weebly's templates (all of which look good - see above picture), or just start typing on the default template. Adding elements like pictures (via uploads or Flickr), YouTube videos, and Google maps to a page is very simple, just drag and drop the feature.  Adding pages to your site is also easy, a click of a button.   But there are some limitations in this service. You can't put a picture into a block of text after the fact--there are separate module types for text and for text-plus-image. You can't put a headline or a caption on an embedded object (like a Google map or YouTube video);  And I'm not sure about space (how many pages you are allowed).  

At present it suites our needs for our eportfolio.  We'll continue to explore this aspect, and I'll continue to assess Weebly in this blog.

Below is a YouTube video on Weebly.

Here are more Web 2.0 tools that my students will be exploring this year in Grade 9/10.  As you can see below, Google covers many of the aspects of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy with their aspects.

Finally, just to see how you too can integrate some Web 2.0 tools into daily practise see the Prezi below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. I will be checking my comments every week.