Student Webpage Creation Apps

There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, each with their own trade-offs. Here a few things I have done or may do in the future with my students.

1. NVu (an updated version called Kompozer is the same thing) – This is a great WYSIWIG (What you see is what you get) editor with a lot of power underneath. It took most of my students 1-2 class periods to learn it, and now they are total pros. You don’t need any webcoding knowledge to use the program. If you can use a word processor, you can use NVu. It allows you to write, add pictures, links, and change colors like crazy (see student samples). You can even add code snippets (TeacherTube, Sketchast) you get from other webpages and put those into your page, though this involves going into the code a bit.
– The only tricky part is posting it. If you know your schools ftp webhosting address and passwords, you can do it yourself from within NVu. Otherwise, you’ll have to forward on a folder to someone who can post it.

Pros = Free, Easy WYSIWIG, No coding knowledge needed, Ability to add code snippets, CSS, and Java Script capable; If students save to a drive, you can preview their pages before uploading them.
Cons = Must know basic html to add code snippets, uploading may be tricky for novices

2. Jottit – I haven’t used Jottit with my class, but I’ve messed with it myself. It is as simple as it comes for webpaging. Just type in what you want and it generates a webpage. You can add code snippets by just pasting them in the window. Get an account and you can save the pages to a unique url, but not your school’s domain.

Pros – Free, If you can type and click you can use it.
Cons – You can’t post to your school’s domain, students could potentially post inappropriate things without your knowledge

3. iWeb – This only works on a mac, but is easier than nVu and just as powerful. It’s an even simpler WYSIWIG editor that lets you drag and drop things wherever you like. It’s also linked to your iTunes and iPhoto libraries and comes with a variety of templates to choose from. The newest version of iWeb also lets you add code snippets from the web by copying and pasting.If you’ve got a .mac account you can publish them in one click. This would be a pain on multiple computers however. If you don’t publish to .mac you run into the same upload issues as nVu.

Pros – Super easy visual interface, linked to photo and music libraries, copy and paste web code snippets
Cons – Mac only, Costs money, uploading can be tricky for novices without .mac, messy code that can make it difficult to manipulate outside of iWeb

4. Google Page Creator – Easy to use WYSIWIG, you can also view the code to see how it works, easily ties into to other google apps like docs and picasa, so students can link things from those sources. I haven’t used it personally, but I’ve seen lots of google pages and they all look very nice.

Pros – Free, Similar to iWeb, except you that you link to other google apps instead iLife galleries, access it and change it from anywhere
Cons – Must be online to use it, some coding limitations

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