Technology - Website Creation

Message from Mr. B.

Hi,

I decided to construct a page to assist others in creating their own teacher/classroom website. I am a newcomer to this craft, since just beginning this website in August 2011. In my travels I have discovered a number of website tools that make creating a website fun, but also functional. I'm cheap, so everything you find here is free, although upgrades are available from most providers. Good luck with your endeavor!

Sincerely,

Dale Borgeson

Picture 5 (1)2.png

Website Templates

The first thing you will need is a website template. My source is School Loop . This was determined by my school district for me. You can find lots of free choices by following any of the links below:

Now you can have fun adding a variety of elements to your site. Have a look around this page to see some examples of what you may want to include. You will need to be able to embed html code for most of these elements. If you have questions about that, contact me, or ask your webmaster.

Audio Recording - Podcasting

Being able to record audio messages will give you many options when building your website. You can leave messages for students or parents that can tell about assignments or upcoming events. My class always creates a once a week news broadcast. You will find our latest broadcast in which we used Audioboo located on the homepage of this website.
 
  • Spreaker - easy to create podcasts, radio shows, and other recordings for the classroom
  • AudioPal - easily add audio content to a website or blog, record messages for your students
  • Audioboo - effortlessly record and share audio recordings
  • Record mp3 -easy audio recordings, save your website or desktop
  • PodOmatic - create podcast for free
  • SpeakPipe - voicemail system or just a quick and easy audio recording
  • Aviary/Myna - Myna is an audio editing tool on the Aviary website
  • ListenToYouTube - extract audio from YouTube videos very easily
  • VoiceThread - record narration as you go through images, allows for collaboration

Blabberize & Yodio

With Blabberize you download any picture, and within a couple of minutes you will have a talking picture with your voice.

Blogs

You may want to consider adding a classroom blog to your site. I use Kidblog and find it easy to implement and to monitor. I include it as one of the requirements when we go to our school computer lab. I try to keep the blogs timely and relevant to maintain interest.

 

 

 

Brain Pop Daily Movie

Adding a Brain Pop movie is a quick and easy way to have content on your website that is changed on a daily basis. Just go to BrainPop.com, register, and then locate the free movie that you can embed into your website. It is one of the elements that the kids in my class access the most often.

Communication / Collaboration Tools

These tools will allow you to create a vehicle for online collaboration

Contact Methods

It is important to include contact information on your homepage. Listed below are some creative ways to accomplish this on your website.

  • Contact Me - you can add a form or a button on your website for free
  • SpeakPipe - an easy to use widget that allows for voicemails to be sent to your email
GoAnimate.com: Link and Webby by dborgeson

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

Digital Storytelling & Animation

I used the website GoAnimation to create the short animation above. It is pretty basic, with not many options, but it's easy and free. Follow these links to find other programs with a bit more sophistication. The sky is the limit for how you might use this technology on your website or in your classroom.

Embed Content

  • Embedit.in - embed any document and add notations

Forms

This is a new area for me this school year. I am starting out small by having just a few forms that parents fill out at the beginning of the year. I have selected Wufoo and found it very easy to use. 
 
  • Wufoo - easily create forms than can be shared in a number of ways
  • Zoho Creator - another free form creator, unlimited forms
  • PHPForm - choose a color and get going
  • Form2Go - another easy to use form creator
  • JotForm - allows for customization of your form
  • Freedback - create a form in just minutes
  • EmailMeForm - used for our first assignment this year!

Google Sites

Images and Clip Art

Adding images is the easiest way to enhance your website. With the myriad of options available it should be easy enough locating an image which will help you to make your site more enticing and visually interesting. The most obvious source is Google Images or your own photos. Whichever template you choose should provide a quick an easy way to embed a photo or some artwork.

Logo Creators

Now that you have created a website for your class how about adding your own logo? This is a way to make your site more professional and impressive. 

Polls & Surveys

I have enjoyed creating numerous free polls using Survey Monkey and PollDaddy. You can create a poll in just minutes and then embed it using html code into your website. At school the students and I monitor the poll and discuss the results. Since graphing is a standard, I like to ask many questions about the poll numbers.

Resources for Creating Websites

Screencasts

Screencasts and Screecaptures are an excellent way to explain parts of your website or your curriculum to parents and students. You can then embed your narrated screencasts on to your website. I'm sure that this will become on of your more important communication tools. I've added quite a few to my website. You can find a list of some of these on my homepage.
 
  • Screencast - works with Jing (the screencast tool I use most often)
  • ScreenCastle - a simple screencast creation tool
  • Screendcast-O-Matic - record up to 15 minutes
  • Screenr - record with audio what you are seeing on your computer
  • Talon - screencasts, Talon is part of the Aviary suite of tools
  • Bounce - quick and easy screen captures 

Slideshows

  • Animoto - free and easy to use, sign up for an educator account
  • Trip Wow! - make a free slideshow in just minutes and embed it on your site
  • Present.me - video of you right next to your slide presentation
  • PictureTrail - make fancy slideshows to embed on your website
  • Smilebox - free slideshow maker
  • Slide.ly - instant slideshow maker

Sounds & Music

Videos

You can embed video content to your website relatively easy. Youtube and other sites allow you to copy the html code and then you simply paste it into your website. Be careful to completely review any video that you are considering importing. It's pretty obvious how video content will make your website much more interesting for the visitor.

I recently discovered a new way of displaying videos for my website. It's called Yokto. Yokto is a new service that allows you to collect videos from multiple sources and display them on one player on your site. The videos that you gather can be played through the Yokto video player embedded into your website.

 

Voice with your photos - Adding Audio Content

Voki

Creating a Voki takes just minutes and the kids just love them. I like to have one that I move around the website, and then offer a reward at school for whomever finds it. If your school mascot matches a Voki, you're in luck. 

Podcast about Using Voki

Web Page Design

Widgets

I have a love - hate relationship with widgets. They provide some fun and interesting content that is most often automatically updated without you doing a thing. The problem is, it's easy to get carried away and embed too many. The free ones often also have some advertisement attached. All in all, if you are selective I think you will find them a useful added element to your website.

CAUTION: Widgets are web based and receive a feed from the internet each time they load. This means you need to use extreme caution when attaching them to your website. They can be corrupted and often are created by third parties.

The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators

Teacher Websites Worth Reviewing