Build an online classroom with Weebly for Education
By Top 10 Staff
With today’s students, the old way of notepads, calculators and whatever else you can cram in a backpack might not cut it. Students are wired to the digital world in a way that would have been unthinkable when their parents were in school. A classroom website and student e-portfolio increase the odds that students and parents will be engaged with their courses, by bringing them onboard through the technology they’re already using.
Already known for its ease-of-use and drag-and-drop website builder, Weebly has a wealth of tools that can be deployed to help educators build the online tools that can really make their classroom soar, with the company’s Weebly for Education service.
Here’s a closer look at the platform and how you can use it to give your students more access to classroom information, while streamlining your educational efforts and sharpening your teaching skills.
Keeping it Simple
Students of all ages can master Weebly’s website builder, which uses a simple, drag-and-drop interface that is intuitive for any pupil. They don’t need to master any complicated coding languages and can start designing on the first day of school.
It’s really quite straightforward - just select one of the dozens of website themes and start adding in your class information and any other features you want.
You can also let the students get involved, with hands on practice designing the site.
In addition to photos, maps, and class videos, you can incorporate calendars to help students and teachers keep up to date with school functions, class projects, and much more.
Even if you don’t allow students take part in designing the site, you can allow every student to have a personal login and account on the site, which you can make private or viewable by anyone online.
With their login, students can interact directly with the site, and you can organize and manage the school year in ways that tend to be much more difficult offline.
Why Set Up a Class Website?
Submit homework online
When you open a class website on Weebly, you can allow students to set up an individual account on the website with a login and password. Students can upload their homework directly to the site, making it virtually impossible for their dog to eat it before they come in for class the next day.
Plan events easily
A class Halloween party, a Spring recital, a charity drive - the school calendar is full of extracurricular events and a Weebly-run class website can really help you keep things organized. When you post an event on your class website, you can send out invites to parents and students, which they can use to RSVP and put any important information you need to know. For instance, if you’re planning a bake sale, you can send out an invite to each parent where they can not only select which item to make, but can also note any allergens or other dietary restrictions.
Surveys and polls
It’s no secret that kids aren’t crazy about everything in the classroom. On a Weebly classroom website you can easily embed polls for students to rate lectures, field trips, or the books assigned in class. Make them anonymous and let students give you feedback on their terms.
Getting to know you
During the summer vacation, a Weebly site can really give you a head start with getting to know your students before the school year starts. Allow them to set up individual accounts on the website, where they can fill in their likes and dislikes, any nicknames they may go by, and what types of books or subjects they like. You still have your curriculum of course, but it's nice to have a cheat sheet to help you plan accordingly.
Set up a class blog
This is a fun project for students and teachers alike. With a class blog on the class website, you can write updates about the past week or what’s on the agenda for class. Even better, you can have special student-designed websites linked to the site, as well as student-written blogs, and give every student a chance to write a blog about what their heart desires (within reason).
Class photos and videos
Parents and students love to see photos from class, but you don’t want to just post them on social media for all to see. With a Weebly private class website accessed by login, students and parents can view slideshows and videos from class events in a safe, private forum.
It’s Free of Charge and Free of Ads
Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but another enticing aspect of Weebly for Education is that the service is totally free to use, and it won’t embed any unwanted advertisements on your website.
This is very important for a website used by students, who you want to ensure won’t be bombarded by third party advertisements that may not be appropriate for school kids.
Weebly is able to afford the system by charging for premium features, including the option to allow more than 30 student accounts on the site.
In addition, Weebly for Education comes with web hosting included, and it never limits the number of pages you can have on your site.
So Teach, How Do I Get Started?
Weebly is easy to use and getting up and running should only take a matter of minutes. Head over to http://education.weebly.com and follow the instructions to start building your site. You can always preview the site before publishing or sending out invites to students and/or parents and administrators, so take a test drive and see how Weebly for Education can change school for you - and your students.
Want to know more about what Weebly can offer you with their free drag and drop website builder? Read our full review for more info.