Weebly – Sounds Funny, but it’s Serious Business

So, I decided to read up on the changes when MobileMe services transition to iCloud.  I knew that I would be losing some elements of MobileMe’s services, but what I didn’t realize is that I’d be losing the iWeb feature.  At first, I was freaking out because I’ve hosted my class website there since 2007, not to mention the other sites that I’ve created using iWeb.  Now, I have to either find another site to host it, or risk losing all of that work.  Jeesh!  Now that I think about it, I have my portfolio from my master’s program on iWeb.  Argh!  Well, I guess I have a lot of work to do.  But I digress.

Weebly.  It’s a web hosting site that has both a free and paid subscription service.  At $39 dollars a year, it’s really not that bad – especially considering that I was paying $99 a year for MobileMe (primarily for the iWeb service).  But MobileMe will still host my class website till June 30, 2012, but I’m not going to wait until that day to start searching for a new place to host my class website.  Which brings me to Weebly.

Its user-interface is not as friendly as MobileMe.  But truth be told, nothing is going to be as user-friendly as anything that Apple makes.  However, it is pretty easy to use.  I would suggest that if you’re thinking about using this site, check out the Help section because it’ll answer some questions that “should” be intuitive but isn’t.  I started a preliminary version of my class website, but I’m going to wait until I get back to school to continue any further.  My fear is that my district’s firewall will block this site because it has a blogging option.  It’s so draconian.  I mean, it seems as if I can password protect and monitor comments so I don’t see the big deal with having a blog.  But we’ll see.  For now, I’m going to leave things as is on the site.  I hesitate to invest too much more time into creating my class website there if my students cannot access the site at school.

But before I close, let me just mention some of the really cool things that Weebly allows:  I can create a dropbox for students to email me their assignments, I can create class accounts for student-create websites, and I can embed Voki clips!  Three things that will definitely change things up a bit for my students (and me)!  So, things are looking slightly more positive, but I’ll hold off for the major celebrating until I get back to my classroom.

Now…if Weebly is blocked at school you can bet that I’ll be emailing the IT department, the PR person and whomever else it takes to get the firewall lifted.  It’s time to stop blindly blocking sites without truly thinking of the consequences.  We can’t continue to exist with our heads in the sand.

P.S.  I love this photo from National Geographic!  
Come to think of it…why wait until school starts?  I’ll just email the IT department right now…

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