This will be my fifth year in third grade. During the previous four years, I tried three different website providers and formats.
Year 1...iWeb. Easy-to-use...but it cost money and I could only update it from my iMac at home.
Year 2...Weebly. Easy-to-use and free.
Year 3...Blogger. A little more work-intensive and I didn't necessarily want the blog format. But it worked.
Year 4...Blogger. I tried to set it more up like a classroom website this year. Didn't work so well.
And so this year, I'm back to Weebly.
According to Wikipedia, Weebly is an online free widget-based website creator. It uses widget-style format, allowing users to create pages with only a few clicks by dragging and dropping different page elements (images, text, or interactive content) onto a page.
Personally, I love Weebly. For several reasons.
I just made that word up. And spell check did not underline it. Yay, me.
It's true though. Weebly is extremely user-friendly. It is basically dragging and dropping. If you want two columns on a page, you drag the "two-column" button down there. If you want to put some text on there, drag it over and bam...text.
2. Element Options.
There are so many options now with Weebly. Besides the usual headings, text boxes, and images, you can also add video clips, slideshows, documents, and maps.
You can add products (I'm thinking about adding some gift-certificate options on my photography website, that I have also recently moved to Weebly) and Ads, using Google AdSense. And there are even options for forms, such as a survey or maybe an RSVP form. In the classroom, I could see the RSVP option working well for Author's Shares!
3. Multiple Editors.
You can give specific people access to editing a specific website, without disclosing your entire username and password combo. That's nice.
4. It's free.
As an educator, free is nice. Actually, in today's economic situation, free is nice. And I really like that this site is free WITH all the bells and whistles!
If you want to see my Weebly sites, you can check out my classroom site here and my photography site here.
I could really see my third graders even using the Weebly tools to journal their learning. How could you see Weebly being useful in YOUR classroom?