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Classroom websites are a great way to give classes an online profile that they can be proud of. Weebly's education accounts let teachers create secure student blogs, or classroom websites, with an easy drag and drop interface that anyone can use!

Why Weebly?

There are several very good reasons why Weebly websites are great for educational use. Firstly, they are free, and that is always a plus for educators. Secondly, Weebly does not place ads on your website like some other website creators do. Ads are distracting for adults, and often misleading for children. Lastly, Weebly allows you free domain hosting.

Getting Started

external image e56fa6a30c245c18cb57606786c73bb181515c9d_small.jpgTo begin creating a weebly website(http://www.weebly.com) , you need to create an account. This is as simple as providing Weebly with a username, password and email address. Next, you accept the terms or service, click sign up, fill in the captcha, and you are ready to go. The next screen starts a wizard that asks for your name, school name, district and country, but if you want to skip that step for now, you can. When you are done with that screen you get the choice to set up a class, or create a website.

Create Classroom Websites

Clicking 'create a website' asks you what you want to call your website. This can be changed later, so you don't have to be too creative at this stage. Next, you need to choose what your website address will be. Standard format is myclass.weebly.com, but you can register your own domain here too. Once you have chosen your site address, (something that can also be changed later), you are taken straight to a your new homepage. It looks a little bare just now, but there are some helpful directions from Weebly that appear on your screen to take you through the basics of adding a paragraph, changing your website design theme, and making new pages for your site. Clicking the orange 'publish' button in the top right of your screen will publish your website to the web for all to see. Here is a great example of one of the classroom websites published using Weebly websites builder.

Watch this **weebly demo**
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Student Blogs

When you are done editing your class website, click red 'close' icon in the top right hand corner. This will take you back to a dashboard display where you now have the option to set up a class. Once you set up a class, you will have the option up to 40 to create student blogs. So, insert your class name and level. After that, you need to choose whether your student websites will be public or private. Public means anyone can see them, private means that they will be password protected and hidden from search engines. If you select private, you will be prompted for a class password. This can be changed whenever necessary. The last decision you need to make is whether or not you want to moderate comments on student websites. If you choose not to, anything that is posted on a student blog is instantly published. If you choose to moderate, you can choose which comments to approve or deny before they are live. You can add students individually, or in larger groups if you put them in a spreadsheet. Creating student blogs with Weebly would be a great classroom project, or an exciting way to build an online portfolio for your students. However, it is a condition of service that you obtain parental permission with websites for students under the age of 13.