Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.
Here’s a great question I got from Laurie:
Do you know of any websites where teachers can create a free web page for their classroom? But I’d like to have my students maintain it, so they would need accounts and then I approve and publish the material?
The easiest free answer is to use KidBlogs as a website, but they are limited because they’re sanitized for kids. Edublogs (another blog that could be used as a website) is popular, though I have never used them. I love WordPress and use one as a website. It’s very flexible. Kids could certainly maintain it. You’d have to set up a static first page, then blog posts for the information. Maybe not as good as Google Sites or Wix or Weebly.
More of a traditional website is Wix and Weebly–both nice. They are fairly intuitive (my 4th graders used them), but they aren’t geared for kids so the free pictures are all ages. I didn’t see any bad ones (and I was looking), but their purpose isn’t to be G. For teacher use, I think you’d love Wix. There are some beautiful templates. There’s also Google Sites (comes with Google Apps for Ed–not to be confused with Blogger)
Any of these, kids could maintain. It’s simpler to have multiple users with blogs because you make them contributors with appropriate privileges, but websites are close to being as simple.
To ask Otto a question, fill out the form below:
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.