Website Creation Workshop

L. Kunc, library media specialist, November 2010 (updated November 2011)

Purpose and Goals: This is an informal workshop designed to introduce you to classroom websites, blogs and wikis. We will examine how you can better equip your students to access course content and organize, even simplify, your own workflow using these tools. Although these technologies are all similar and somewhat interchangeable for our purposes, a very simple explanation comes from Richard Byrne, an educational-technology guru whose wonderful site, Free Tech 4 Teachers is mentioned several times below: "websites are good for providing a static resource of information, blogs are good for frequent updates and communication, and a wiki is great for collaborating on the creation of a reference site."

In this workshop, we will look at examples of blogs/wikis for various academic uses and consider the differences between these technologies
we will sign up for accounts with a blog/wiki of our choice and begin creating a site for classroom use. We will also review various tips for using the GUIs and, if time, review some basic html.

Benefits of a Teacher Blog or Wiki or Website:
  • Announcements
  • Syllabus/Rules and Policies
  • Homework Assignments and Class Projects
  • Calendar/Due Dates
  • Student Collaboration
  • Literature Circles or Collaborative Group Projects
  • Labs (Instructions, Step-by-Step)
  • Post Student Work
  • Webquests, Links, Resources for Students

Things to Consider Before Starting:
  • In what ways do I want to use my website, wiki, or blog?
  • Which technology is right for me?
  • How will I organize my pages?
  • How will I promote the site to my students?
  • Do I want students to collaborate? comment?
  • What kind of privacy settings should I use?

THINK ABOUT IT!: What are some advantages and uses of a blog? a wiki? a static website?

Examples of Teacher Blogs:
Mrs. Curtis AP Literature
SummerTech @ Manley (Kunc)
Pershing West Classroom Site
Sarah Plain and Tall Book Discussion Blog
Mrs. C's Class Blog
Senn Library Blog

Examples of Educational Wikis:
(Wikispaces, PBWorks, etc.)
Manley Research
21st Century Skills for Teachers
Armstrong U.S. History
Climate Change Project
3rd grade
LN Math

Examples of Google Sites, Weebly, Posterous, etc.:
Mrs. Richau's Class
U.S. History
Maine South Library
Ms. Shields' Class
Teaching with Technology

Helpful Links to Get Started:
Wikispaces
Blogger
Google Sites
Wix
Weebly
Posterous
Richard Byrne's 10 Ways for Teacher and Students to Create Websites
WordPress (Slightly more advanced, but more polished looking)

Tips:
  • Get ORGANIZED and STAY organized! It is always easier to upload files, photo, etc. when they are easily accessible on your computer or flash drive.
  • PLAN AHEAD. After signing up and playing around, make sure you map out your pages before starting. Or browse through the pre-made templates that many sites offer to get ideas for the content you would like to include.
  • Simple is better. Don't get too tempted by flashy widgets, animated GIFs, colorful backgrounds. You don't want your site to look like a Myspace page! If you need to indulge, create a Glogster and link it to your site.
  • Stick to one or two fonts and main colors.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and LINKS

Wiki Walk-Through
Creative Commons in Education
7 Places to Find Copyright-Friendly Images

Other Free Fun Web Technologies for Class Projects:

Glogster
Wordle
Animoto
Box of Tricks 10 Internet Tools for Teachers
Free Tech for Teachers
CPS 23 Things Tutorials

Basic HTML and CSS information:

Introduction to HTML
HTML Tags
HTML Character Reference
CSS Tutorial