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Thursday, October 22, 2020
EVSC ICATS
30 Day eLearning Challenge Digital Tools

Day 19 #30DC13: Web Presence

What is a web presence?  Web presence is basically your appearance or occurrence on the World Wide Web, aka, the Internet.  Some ways that you may have a web presence are by creating a teacher website, keeping a blog, or participating in social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  A web presence is a great way to stay connected to colleagues, parents, students, and the community. Calendars, assignments, tests, class projects, and any other great things that are going on in your classroom and school can be shared out.

My favorite way to have a web presence is the creation of a teacher website.  I don’t think there is any easier way to create a teacher website than with Weebly.com.  With weebly you do not have to have any prior experience.  If you can use a mouse and drag and drop, then you can create a weebly.  Let me show you how.

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The first step is to go to www.weebly.com and create an account.  Like most sites, you will need a valid email address and create a password.

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Once you have signed up and signed in, then you will need to make some decisions.  The first of these is to choose a theme or layout of your website.  You can choose a theme with pictures, that you can replace with your own.  You can choose a theme where the pages of your site display down the side or across the top.  To see the themes, click on the design tab at the top and choose Change Theme at the left.

 

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Once you have chosen a theme, you are ready to start building your site.  To do that, click on the build tab at the top.  You will also see several buttons at the left.  Each of these that do not have a star are part of your free website.  To use one, simply click and drag it with your mouse over to your webpage.  Titles, text, images, maps, buttons to create links and more are available.  You can easily drag the components and rearrange them once you have them on your page.  To delete a component, simply hover over it with our cursor and click the blue x in the top right corner of the object.

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So far, we have only created a home page.  To add more pages to your website, click on the pages tab at the top of the page.  Click on the orange add page box and give your new page a name.  You have four choices of how you would like this new page to look.  The tall header is the same as your home page.  The short header gives it a smaller picture.  The no header leaves the picture out and the landing page gives you a variety of a picture with text around it.  From there you can click save and edit to begin work on the new page.

 

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When you are ready for the world to see your webpage, you will have two more decisions to make.  What do you want to name your website (Site Title) and what do you want your parents, students, and community members to type in to get to your website (Site Address)?  The Site title can be anything you want.  The site address can only be used if no one else in the world is using it.  For example, www.google.com or www.ebay.com is already taken.  If you choose 6gradepumascience.weebly.com, it may not be taken.  For the free version of weebly, you must have it end with weebly.com.  We are all about free right now.  To get to this part, go ahead and click publish in the top right corner.  These questions should automatically pop up.

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When you have successfully published your site, you will see the following announcement.  This is to show you that your site was published and also that the name you chose is available without the weebly.com on the end of it.  That is great if you want to pay.  This little announcement will pop up every time you publish any changes on your website.  If you are happy with the free version, like me, then simply click on the blue and white “x” in the top right corner.  You can now go to your website by typing in the site address that you chose.  You will now have a web presence that you can begin promoting.

More Great Ways to Have a Web Presence

  1. Start blogging.  You can check out this article.  https://evscicats.com/blog/connecting-online-plnscommunities/ and https://evscicats.com/blog/blogging-in-the-classroom/  I like www.blogger.com
  2. Join Twitter or Facebook.  Check out these articles for more information.  https://evscicats.com/blog/facebook-and-the-connected-educator/ and  https://evscicats.com/blog/day-13-30dc13-social-media/

The Challenge

If you don’t have a teacher website, I encourage you to give it a try in the near future.  It is a great way to communicate and share what is happening in your classroom with parents and the community.  Today’s challenge is imagine  how you would use a teacher website and how it would benefit you as an educator.

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33 comments

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Karen Dishman December 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I already have a weebly site that I created for sharing resources and ideas that occupational therapists and physical therapists. It is a work in progress that I have been adding to each week. I have found it very easy to use and can not wait to use it for my colleagues to share ideas with each other. My site in the making is http://www.evscot.weebly.com

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Beth Bohnert (@bbohnert) December 11, 2013 at 6:47 am

I don’t have a website for my class, but I am revamping my class blog over break. My students have created Weebly sites for a Zombie Run at our public library and for a local campground. They have also tried Wix and Yola. They are also beginning to create a site for a local business. One issue we ran into is that they Weebly sites aren’t searchable quickly so people can’t find them without the actual URL. There is a way to submit it to Google so that it becomes searchable. You can Google it and see how. It was a good learning experience for my students to see the extra steps they needed to complete.

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kelleybland December 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I created a Weebly, but I mostly use google docs for all of my commuication. We also are required to put our info on Renweb, so I’m not sure how much I will use Weebly. I love the look and ease o it, but I just don’t know if I will keep up with it.

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amykerney December 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I just created my first weebly site. I could easily see posting items on this site for kids who are absent and need to catch up on work at home. I could post assignments and work they could do while they are out.

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Brian Hartman November 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

This year I tried using Evernote as my web presence. I created a shared folder for each student as a place to turn in assignments and a shared common folder that I posted assignments, due dates, projects, etc… Parents could even sign up and share the common folder and their student’s personal folder to follow progress and to share notes back and forth. The students did not initially care for the format. I found the web version to be more difficult to manage than the desktop version I was using. Unfortunately they cannot install programs even if they are free. Next year, maybe even next semester, I will try something different.

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gaylemooney November 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Weebly is a great website. I had a Weebly teacher website before My Big Campus which I use now in place of the Weebly. A teacher website is really a must and My Big Campus in the EVSC means we all have one. You just have to use it. I also like that parents now can have their own log-in for MBC. I have also taught students to create websites on Weebly. They love using it because it is so easy and fun for them. They can have more that one Weebly as well. I have had students use Weebly to present information for a digital project. Last year, many students did the solar system project with a Weebly.

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Tyra Harnishfeger (@tyra_8) November 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

Teacher websites are great ways to:
1. communicate newsletters
2. make a list of websites/resources students and parents can access from home (My 2nd grader loves pulling up his teacher’s Weebly to play the games they play in class.)
3. post spelling words and homework
4. post pictures to showcase the hard work of students
All of these things can help to establish a positive culture in your classroom and set a tone for your year.

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Melinda Poole November 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

my teacher website is melindapoole.weebly.com I absolutely love it. I use it to communicate and share our pictures, our music that we are learning so they can practice, They can sign on to read about happy positive things happening in our classroom. I think it is huge to have that presence, even if it is a landing site to share how you plan on that communication with parents.

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Melissa Mayer November 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

The EVSC provides a school website page as well as an individual teacher webpage. We also have MBC. I attended a workshop during ERev this past summer and Weebly was part of the session. I can see the many benefits of it. I keep parents informed of my schedule, items that might be due, and Links that they can use through my teacher page that the school provides. I also use Remind 101, Facebook, and Twitter. I guess if they ever got rid of my other site I would for sure set up and use a Weebly.

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ss4122 November 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

I used Weebly many years ago and found it easy to use. Websites are great communication tools for students, teachers, and parents.

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Sue November 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Several teachers have a Weebly at our school. When I was a “core” teacher, I had one. A teacher website is an invaluable tool for parents, if done correctly. On mine, it was divided by grade and listed, in detail, what the students were working on, what the “end product” should look like, upcoming tests, vocabulary/spelling words, etc. I had several parents say it was the first thing they checked in the evening to make sure they knew what was going on and what was needed for the next day.

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msellers5678 November 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

As an eLearning Specialist, I use my website to connect teachers with resources. I also post information from Professional Development sessions so they may revisit the lesson. Teachers can present parent communication, a student learning portal as well as display student work (digital portfolios). I currently have a weebly: http://sellerstech.weebly.com

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John Wells November 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

Weebly is very easy to use and offers a wide range of tools for those that want to jazz it up. We use it for our seniors. Our seniors will be chronicling their Senior Service Learning project on their weebly as well as creating a digital portfolio of their writings. It has be very easy to teach them how to use it and Jeff Tron has a wealth of materials to share with you how to set it up, teach it to your students and how it can be used in the class.

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Aliciabuse2013 November 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I love the two Weebly sites I viewed (SSMS & Peter Barringer’s). Access to information is so needed by parents and students with so many schedules to keep straight! My biggest concern is will such a site do more than what I already have with My Big Campus and our school’s online system called Harmony (which tracks grades, discipline, lunch accounts, attendance, & class assignments)? A second concern is me keeping so many things updated..I already post weekly assignments in two places online.

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Kris Gordon November 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

Alicia,
The key is to have ways to communicate to students and parents online in addition to your regular face-to-face communication. MBC and Harmony are web presences and seem to work for you. Weebly is a great way to have a web presence, but don’t feel like you need to have one of everything.

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shanwright November 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I signed up for weekly.com and I’m looking forward to exploring this as a new way to communicate with my students. My district already uses My Big Campus for the majority of our lesson planning and family communication. We also use the Harmony system for mass emails and progress reporting. I personally use Remind101 and my grade level’s Facebook page as a way to communicate with my students.

I can see that Weebly will be an amazing tool to use for my classroom, I just hope I can use it to condense my communication to one main site. Having so many tools going at once can sometimes become overwhelming.

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sherrifalconer November 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

A blog would help the therapists with providing teachers and parents with evidence based practice strategies to assist with different kids. It could also be used to communicate and network with other therapists. I think this could be very beneficial.

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mmemmer November 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I have had a website for years. First I made my own from Microsoft Front Page. Then when my school changed to School Fusion, I was supposed to have a website there and it was actually easier for me. Mine pretty much looks like everyone else’s, but I’m OK with that.

We are required to have our weekly assignment on our webpages for both the students and parents to see. I also put project files and some good links on my page.

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pamlindsey November 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

I agree! Weebly is an awesome way to create websites! I tried it out last spring when I was going through Five-Star’s Online and Blended Learning course. It is so simple to use and the results look very professional. This year I also worked extensively with the middle school athletic director who created his own website for our sports teams. He put a lot of effort into it and created a site that is a very useful tool for parents. One of my favorite features is the links he put ion for parents so they can get directions to the schools for away games. Each one is connected to Google Maps so parents get the map and the written directions. (http://ssmsathletics.weebly.com/)

I’ve also worked with a couple of teachers this year to create Weebly websites for classes to culminate learning and research for the quarter. You can log into Weebly Education and set up classes so that you have a little control over the sites and can choose to not make them public if necessary. You can also disable their ability to search images on Flickr…not a bad idea. One of my searches for brought up some very inappropriate pictures.

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Leah Simon November 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

I started to make a weebly during a PD session years ago; ad haven’t really been back to it. I would like to get back to curating at it for a storage place for ideas to share for math teachers to navigate and even blog with other math teachers. Time is such a factor in all that we have to do and want to do!

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Kathy Hughes November 22, 2013 at 9:42 am

I have used Weebly in the past and created a website that students could use to find out what’s going on in their particular class..Parents and students have access and this is a plus. It’s easy to create and use. Now, I use Schoology.

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Paul November 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

I love the idea of a class website! The students could go and see whats due and complete any wkshts or a collection of resources that could help them. Also as a collection for other teachers to come in and use them to help their own students. On of my favorite teacher websites created by a Mr. Keith!

Has some great resources on there for anyone to use!

I will end up making a website one of these days….but it’s going to have to be later down the road when I have enough of my own resources that work to create such a page.

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tracilangford November 22, 2013 at 9:33 am

I signed up for a Weebly account and it looks really easy to make. There are several teachers in my building who use this already. Assignments are posted, announcements can be made, etc. Our students have even created websites using this in their technology class this year. I am thinking it could even be used for a family page to keep family members updated on events and happenings. So many uses. I like that videos, music, polls, pictures etc can be added.

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Heather Coy November 22, 2013 at 9:31 am

Here are the links to my Weebly sites:

1st semester (we’ll will build a new site for spring) – http://shepardacademyfreshmanfall.weebly.com/
1st semester –
2nd semester – http://shepardacademyjuniorblockspring.weebly.com/

I am a HUGE fan of Weebly, and would not want to teach without it. The tears would definitely flow! Because Shepard Academy integrates multiple courses, strives to be paperless, and uses virtually no textbooks, it is vital for our freshmen and juniors to have a “one stop shop” for the Academy. On our Weebly sites each tab represents a different course with the pages directing students to units, ongoing activities, and other large content items. We post lots of pictures, links to resources, all our document files, and content. Our Weebly sites are our courses. We design the sites not just with the students in mind, but also their parents and anyone else who might visit the site. Our Weebly sites are the on-line face of our program.

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sfeller2013 November 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

I do not have a teacher website, but have been using Weebly for years in our technology classes. It is definitely a wonderful tool and easy to use. We have Sycamore Education as our system manage software, and each teacher can relate directly to the students and to the parents, about upcoming events, grades, lesson plans, lunch menu, amount of money in lunch account and much more. We just started using it this school year and seems very user friendly.

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Peter Barringer November 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

Here’s a link to my site: mrbarringer.weebly.com

On the front page I have a contact box so parents and students can contact me. I also have links to resources, pictures from classes, and information about myself. On each class’s tabs, I have a weekly schedule, bellringers, assignments, lessons, and everything else we use in class.

I don’t know what I’d do without Weebly. Everything I need is right on the website. It’s perfectly organized, and I am the type of person who needs organization. As two of my good friends once said, “I think I’d cry if my Weebly was deleted.”

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jtcox4 November 22, 2013 at 8:44 am

I can definitely see the benefit of having a teacher website and totally agree weebly is the way to go. Having a hub for students and parents to access info, links, upcoming events is a great alternative, or substitute for a paper newsletter.

I have been beating the Twitter drum to our teachers. Having a classroom twitter account is also an easy way to get real-time information out to students and parents.

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aknueven (@MrCoachK15) November 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

Before regular use of MyBigCampus or Blackboard to communicate class events, assignments, and resources on a daily/weekly basis this would be vital in many classes. However, with those now in play, I think that it takes the pace of a blog or webpage. Some teachers do weekly update emails which adding another page to update on a routine basis might be too much to juggle. Many teachers do use Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Remind101, and even Instagram to share similar things to have a web presence.

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tiffraetodd November 22, 2013 at 8:37 am

I have a weebly site that I use for technology resources for my school district. It has a technology integration blog and several resources and how to’s for the teachers to look at.

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Kris Gordon November 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

Would you mind sharing the website link?

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Miranda Owen November 22, 2013 at 8:13 am

I don’t have a teacher website, but through my team, I communicate with parents daily. We send out mass emails, we create a calendar with all of our assignments on the school website, and we send out newsletters.

I have thought about a teacher website, but I just don’t feel like I could keep up with it on a regular basis. I don’t want to start something and then not be able to give it my full attention.

I feel like the things that my team and I do are beneficial to the students and the parents. Also, I’m able to add anything I want to the school newsletter that goes out once a month.

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Miranda Owen November 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

I also have My Big Campus and I use Remind101.

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Kris Gordon November 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

Having a web presence in education is all about communication and it looks like you are doing that in a variety of ways!

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