Over the past few weeks, I have had a class of seniors using Weebly.com to make websites. It has to be one of the easiest platforms I have ever had students use. It took about five minutes of instruction on my part, and then I just turned them loose.
One of the best things about the program is that it is all click and drag. This means very little in the way of code work. This allows students to put together a decent looking site without much hassle. Because of this, there are some limits to what can be done (at least from what I know about the program). Some of the more tech literate students might not like it, but for the most part, my students had a good time putting their sites together. For many of them, this was their first web-based creation outside of Myspace, so there was a real sense of accomplishment in publishing their own work for the world to see.
The nature of this project was that the students created a website that represented all of the research they have been doing for their 10 page research paper. The hope was that by having students make the sites, they might find a focus for their arguments. It seems to have worked well. My students who presented today had some great information, and it was organized well. I think making a visual representation of their thoughts has been a great help.
One last thing: Weebly caters well to educators. By getting five other teachers to sign up for Weebly accounts, a person can get a free pro account, which allows much more space and extra features for student use. Even if a teacher doesn’t do this, educators can still sign up for an account that allows them to moderate several student sites.