Two-thirds of the new jobs created between 2010 and 2016 required medium or high levels of digital literacy, and those computer skills start in the classroom. It’s no wonder that technology in education is on the rise. Weebly for Education, from popular website-building platform Weebly, aims to bring web design into schools — and make it easier for teachers to organize their classroom activities.
Perfect for school districts on a budget, Weebly for Education is free for teachers and up to 40 students. Users can tap into advanced features, like HD video and audio, with a Pro account, currently priced at $39.95 per year. For teachers who want to set up a Weebly for Education account and get started using its tools, here are a few ways Weebly can help you, your students, and school support staff.
Benefits of Weebly for Education
- Teachers are in charge of their classroom websites
- Students can build their own website with easy-to-use editor
- Low demand on administration and IT departments
1. Weebly for Education puts teachers in charge of their classroom websites
At one public middle school in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the entire sixth-grade class logs onto a Weebly site every weekday to find their homework assignments. According to one teacher there, “we post everything on the sixth-grade classroom website, including information for parents, classroom syllabi, homework, and assignment and test calendars.”
Weebly makes it easy for teachers to post and edit thanks to a drag-and-drop site editor that’s remarkably easy to use. But the simplicity of the site editor doesn’t diminish user control. Weebly for Education websites can be password protected, for instance, so teachers can limit access to everyone except students and their parents.
Another advantage: Weebly includes unbranded audio and video players for their sites, so teachers can share multimedia content without navigating the wilderness of the open internet. “A lot of teachers put up assignments for download or audio versions of the texts,” the Minnesota teacher shares. “It’s a living document that parents and students check every day.”
Teachers can find out how many students are checking their homework assignments with Weebly’s built-in analytics tools. “You can track your traffic, so you know if the numbers don’t add up,” the teacher added.
2. Students can build their own website with Weebly’s easy-to-use editor
Weebly for Education gives teachers control over all the student accounts associated with the class. Teachers can set passwords, make pages public or private, and adjust user permissions. Privacy protections make it possible for students to build their own websites, which can house e-portfolios, blog posts, or other collections of their work.
The Weebly drag-and-drop editor is “appropriate for use with students of all ages,” the company’s website claims, although review site Common Sense Education recommends the platform for grades 4 through 12. As an added bonus, sites built through Weebly for Education don’t display ads for Weebly or its parent company Square, unlike the free Weebly plans outside the education division. The lack of branding lets students build their sites without being exposed to advertising.
3. Weebly places low demands on administration and IT departments
Administrators won’t have to worry about hosting fees or bandwidth restrictions associated with Weebly student websites. Weebly for Education includes free hosting, and because the service is entirely online, school IT departments don’t need to install, store, or configure any software.
Free Weebly for Education sites use a Weebly subdomain in the URL (yourschool.weebly.com, for instance). However, if administrators prefer to use a school’s domain for classroom and student websites, that’s also possible. Weebly for Education guides users through the process of configuring new Weebly sites with existing domains.
Ultimately, ease of use and a nonexistent price tag put Weebly for Education on a short list of website builders for classroom use. It’s worth a try for teachers, administrators, and IT staff looking for an easy way to expand digital literacy in the classroom.