Here is how you can use the WizIQ virtual classroom to teach your students how to make their own website on Weebly. In my last post, I talked about my political and philosophical ideas about why web site creation is so important, and why you would want them to do this. Here, I will give you the nuts and the bolts, in ample details, so that you can easily do it yourself with your students.
Several days before class:
Have your students organize the body of knowledge that they want to share in a website. It is particularly helpful if they organize it into sections with separate titles. Each section can be a page on the site. This might take some scaffolding from you.
Also, they should organize all of their writing and photos into one folder. Their experience will be much more pleasant if they know where everything is.
You need a Weebly Account. Simply go to http://education.weebly.com/ and create an account. The free account is fine for most purposes. Create usernames and passwords for each of your students.
Send your students their usernames and their passwords in an email.
Schedule and launch your class in the WizIQ virtual classroom.
On the first white board, write something like “Welcome! Today we are going to learn how to make your own website.”
Click on the media player. It is here:
This screen will open up:
Put this link in the window for the video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRQf0HfnhZk. This video was created by a business marketing consultant named Susan Coils of www.sansecret.com. Here is the video:
Minimize the Media player. It will go to the bottom corner of your screen and can be accessed anytime during the class.
On one of the whiteboards, upload a screenshot of the Weebly toolbar:
Tell the students that you are going to get them started during class and that they are going to finish the project on their own.
Tell them to go to www.education.weebly.com. Also put the same link in the chatbox, so that they can copy and paste it.
Play the tutorial video that is loaded into your media player. When the narrator talks about entering a title, instruct your students to enter the title of their website.
When they return to the classroom, continue to show them the video. The narrator is going to show them how to choose a design. At that point, it might be helpful to show them the screenshot. You can use the pointer to show them where the DESIGN and PAGES tabs are, and tell them what these do. You might say, “The DESIGN tab is where you can explore templates for your website. The section is lots of fun and it takes a lot of time, but it is pretty easy. After class, flip through some of the designs and see which one you would like for your website. The PAGES tab is where you can add more pages for your site. Right now, click on the DESIGN and PAGES tabs, so that you are certain that you know where they are and what they do”.
Begin to play the video again. The narrator is about to explain how to create a page. Have the students watch it and then go to create several pages.
The lady in the video will then explain the “ELEMENTS” tab, next. Have the students watch it, and then go to experiment “dragging and dropping” elements onto their page.
At this point, your students are going to be begging to be allowed to go and do the rest of the work on their own. No need to make them linger. Send them off!
The entire lesson took about 20 minutes. I stayed LIVE in the WizIQ classroom while the students explored for another half an hour, but they really did not need much help after the initial instructions.
Send them an email with a link to the tutorial video. Remind them to contact you if they need help. Cheer them on and you are done.
This lesson is so easy and important. Giving our students the tools to participate in the World Wide Web is as important as teaching them how to use a pencil. Don’t allow you or your students to be passive recipients of information. Show them how they can actively share what they know!