Perhaps others are clearer about the difference these days between a website and a blog, but it seems to me the boundary lines are pretty blurry.
For students, a number of blog applications seem very easy to use and work well in my classes. You can find more information about these tools on these specific “The Best…” lists:
Visually, however, I can see how a website might offer more creative possibilities. So in this list I’ll share my picks for The Best Ways For Students Or Teachers To Create A Website.
Except for one tool I’ll write about, I didn’t include any that would not allow you to grab images directly off the web for inclusion on the website. This list is focused on tools accessible for English Language Learners and non-tech-savvy computer users, and that ability, I believe, is an essential one for those two groups. The other features also had to be very easy to use. Finally, the service had to be offered free-of-charge.
Here are my choices, though not listed in any particular order of preference. Also, of course, even though I listed some sites under “Students,” I think a teacher could also find them useful.:
Just Paste It is a very, very simple ways to create websites. They’re ideal for teachers or students who are not very tech savvy, and just want a place to add links or, for example, if students have an assignment where they might need to collect images and then describe them. No registration is required.
Up until now, I’ve only included apps to make websites that allow you to grab images directly off the web. However, there are some sites that are pretty darn easy, but only let you upload photos off your computer. Here are two that I’m now adding:
Striking.ly is a very easy tool for creating a website. I particularly like the fact that you can grab images off the Web to insert in them. You still need an invitation to register, but I received one a day after I sent in a request.
I discovered Populr.me awhile ago, and liked how easy it let you create websites. However, at that time, they had a very strict, and small, limit on the number of pages you could publish. They’ve just removed that limit, so I’m adding it to this list.
Pantrom seems like a very easy new tool for creating simple collaborative webpages. You can create up to ten for free.
Mural lets you make very simple websites.
GrapeDrop lets you make simple and small websites for free.
Wix is a fairly easy site that lets you use Flash to create a website or content that you would like to embed into a website or a blog. The final product can look pretty neat. There’s so much you can create that I think it would be a little too overwhelming to English Language Learners. I also suspect that my mainstream students would would want to spend far too much time using it to make their creations look cool and spend less time on the actual content. However, teachers, I think, might want to use it to create content their students would then access.
Yola is another website-building application and seems very similar to Wix, but appears to be just a little less complicated to use.
Try Cereals is like a mini-website builder. Here’s a video about it:
Also, check out a post at my other blog, Engaging Parents In School — “A Few Potentially Useful Tech Tools For Teacher/Parent Communication.”
As always, feedback is welcome.