Recommendations for Teacher Website Creation Tools

Question: You recommend DreamWeaver for teacher Web site development. We use this in our district, and it works well, but we find there are some teachers who are still overwhelmed by this powerful program. Do you have any other suggestions for making it as easy as possible for a teacher to develop a main page and a few supporting pages, and that will allow for occasional updates and insertion of photos?

The IT Guy says:
Both Dreamweaver and Frontpage can be intimidating for teachers who are just getting started making their own Web sites. For basic pages, teachers should consider Web tools like SchoolNotes and MySchoolOnline. Teachers can build completely free (but basic) Web pages for their classroom or school with SchoolNotes. For a reasonable fee, teachers can enjoy more features with SchoolNotes or with MySchoolOnline. By using a Web browser to create these Web pages, both of these websites offer a much less intimidating user experience for budding teacher Webmasters.

For posting photos online, teachers can use a variety of free Web photo sites. Those offering the option of password protection to protect student privacy, like Sony Imagestation, are the most attractive. Websites created with a free site like Imagestation can be linked to a free SchoolNotes Web site. Although this requires teachers to have two separate accounts on two different Web sites, it does allow for robust Web publishing (including text, links, and photos) without any cost. So that’s a bonus!

Several years ago my favorite cross-platform free Web authoring software tool was AOL Press. It is still available for older operating systems (both Windows and Macintosh) and may still be a viable option for your teachers, depending on how old their operating systems are.

If you are fortunate enough to have any of your teachers using Macintosh computers, the .Mac site, with its integration with iLife applications like iPhoto offers terrific functionality, albeit at an annual cost (reduced for educators).

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