Site/App review: “Weebly: Create Free website Free blog

 

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A few decades ago, when the Internet was not as popular as today, creating your own website and building on it could be a far-fetched activity or it was even a dream especially when you did not have the knowledge and skills to do so. Today, thanks to especially social networking websites, people can easily create their own pages and organize them within the possibilities of those environments or platforms. If you want to be more independent, and create your own page in mostly in your own way, you can still do so by taking URLs on some hosting webservers. Although most people think that this requires a lot of skills and knowledge of codes, HTML, CSS and so on, it is not the case most of the time thanks to these hosts where you can publish your own page or blog. Services like WordPress, Blogspot, Edublogs and so on are really popular to create your own page or blog. Recently, there is another popular service provided by Weebly with which you can easily create your own page/blog or even your class as a teacher with the ease of some clicks, and drag-drop. I will describe Weebly more below by also elaborating on its intended audience, how it works and how it could be utilized in an instructional context.

  1. Description

As also described in Wikipedia.com, Weebly is a web-hosting service that allows the user to “drag-and-drop” while using their website builder. As of August 2013, Weebly hosts over 20 million sites, with a monthly rate of over 1 million unique visitors. The startup competes with Wix.com, Webs, Yola, SnapPages, and other web-hosting and creation websites.

Name  : Weebly

URL    : http://www.weebly.com AND http://www.education.weebly.com

Use     : Intended Audience

The intended audience of this tool is simply everyone who wishes to exist online with an individual webpage, blog or also a store. Furthermore, this tool has a specific focus on education and teachers can launch classes on Weebly and create websites or blogs for their students with simply their names when students do not have their own emails because of age problems. Students are also the intended audience of Weebly education and they can create their own pages or portfolios where they upload their assignments or else. As a result, although general public is the intended audience of this tool, specifically educators and students are aimed with Weebly education.

  1. How does it work?

drag-and-dropIn fact, one of the claims of this web-hosting tool is that building a website has never been easier, and it is possible to say that it has a point since it is really easy to create webpages on Weebly. First, you need to sign up, or you can even sign in using your Facebook and Google accounts. Afterwards, you take a URL under weebly.com for free or take your own domain by paying a certain fee. Later on, you can go pro and get some additional features like changing favicons, opening an ecommerce/store site or connecting your own domain. Actually, even for free users, there are so many features like uploading photos, files with the ease of drag-drop; uploading videos, changing themes, appearance, fonts with a full customization of your page. Furthermore, the page you have created will also be tablet or mobile device friendly without an extra effort. You can also check your page stats and do many other things by using Weebly mobile apps.

  1. Further suggestions on how the tool might be used & Limitations

logo_edWeebly seems to be a tool, which makes your job really easy by several practical and convenient features. You can do many things based on your aims, or creativity when you can easily create a page/blog or class of your own online. The things you can do with your own page and blog are clear and will not be elaborated further. However, as teacher, when you use Weebly education, it serves like a course management system as well. It is also an option that you can set your students free and create their own pages, but Weebly education gives an instructor full control by assigning pages to each student, or group of students and you can easily keep track of their progress on the same page. Blogs are strongly recommended for educational purposes, and I really like using them in my class as a student diary since it makes students confident since they are able to share their ideas with public.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 9.00.08 PMYou can do the same thing with Weebly education where a maximum of 40 students can enroll in your class for free, and you can keep track of their progress, view their pages and give feedback. Students create different pages on their own site, and submit their work and assignment create portfolios so that you can easily check and grade them. In fact, for hands-on projects and activities, guiding students to create some work online since they are already motivated for it; they actually like showing off their work; check productions of each other and give peer feedback; complete their assignment and access to them whenever they want and so many other benefits. Therefore, Weebly, especially Weebly education could be really useful both for teachers and students especially in language learning classes where students mostly enjoy doing projects on different topics such as travel, business, entrepreneurship, music, art and so on.


The time has come to officially announce my website!

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There must be hundreds of thousands, and even millions of websites there on the Internet. Now it is time to introduce another one!

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The question is why?, why to struggle to add another page among all others. In fact, the answer is simple. It is ‘mine’! If there are potential people who are thinking of creating their own websites or who already struggled to create theirs, they are sure to understand this feeling: ‘It is gonna be ‘yours”. A webpage could be a good resource and actually a tool to build an effective portrayal of self based on your target audience. Today, every webpage, especially the ones like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or else behave like a community in itself and they bear certain connotations with them. However, your own page which you host somewhere could be an effective display of the self. With this in mind, and thanks to my great enthusiasm to learn this new language, I started my page a few months ago.

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If you want to create a webpage, you can simply choose hosts and webpage design tools like weebly.com, wordpress.com and others. However, I chose the difficult way and I started designing it from scratch dealing with every bits and pieces like codes. For this to be done, I used a simple but nice MAC/PC app ‘seamonkey’ to design pages at the beginning, ‘textwrangler’ to edit codes, ‘fetch’ for MAC’ and ‘winscp’ for PC to publish your pages. Consequently, I am really happy with what has come out of it so far and I wanted to share it with the people who care, the people who are interested in teaching language through technology or accessing resources online. In fact I do not want to elaborate on the website for long since it takes time to read and the website itself is still in progress and there will be more content added in the future; so you can simply click on one of the links on this page and pay a visit there. As you can find information about me, you can also access to the teaching resources or links I shared there. What is remarkable about the website is that it adjusts its resolution and look according to the device you are visiting with such as your phone, tablet, or computer. If you have a chance, you can visit in both ways and I appreciate your comments. Your comments and feedback are always welcome and I will be happy to hear from you about my website.

Here we go!Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 12.50.59 AM