Weebly vs. Google Sites
If you’re not invested in G Suite, then Weebly is a slightly better choice.
more on weebly in this IMS blog
Rise and Shine! How to Boost Your Teacher Brand and Digital Reputation
Five tips to help you create a personal brand and a positive digital reputation
1. What will they find when they Google you?
2. What is branding?
Your brand is what you represent, the content that you share, your audience, your Personal Learning Network (PLN), and your teaching philosophy. You want your brand to demonstrate that you are trustworthy, and offer quality content, insightful comments, and experience. Your brand tells your audience that what you offer is of value. Together, the elements that create your brand should communicate a distinct, cohesive story. For instance, when you visit any of my social media profiles, you will see a consistent message. The avatar and logo for my website Shake Up Learning are more recognizable than my face, and that’s intentional. That isn’t to say that every brand needs an avatar. But do find a creative way to tell your personal story.
3. Choose the right platforms
There is no right or wrong platform. Choosing where you want to build your online presence depends on the audience that you want to engage. If you want to reach parents and school community stakeholders, Facebook is a strong bet. If you want to reach other educators, Twitter and Pinterest are big winners. The bottom line is that you don’t have to use them all. Find and connect with your audience where your audience resides.
4. Claim your social media real estate
Before you settle on a username, check that it’s available on all of the social media platforms that you want to use—and then keep it consistent. You will lose your audience if you make it hard to find you. Also keep your handle simple and short, and try to avoid special characters. When a new platform arrives, claim your username early even if you aren’t sure that you will maintain a presence there.
5. Optimize your social media profiles
Guy Kawasaki, co-author of The Art of Social Media, khas nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter alone, and he offers effective social media tips in his book. Here are the basics:
- Add a picture of your face or logo. Your picture validates who you are. No more eggheads! Using the default egg avatar on Twitter says you don’t have a brand, and doesn’t tell your audience that you are trustworthy.
- Use your real name. Sure, you can lie, but that isn’t going to help you build a brand and online presence. Many platforms allow you to show your name as well as your handle.
- Link to your website, blog or About.me page. Don’t have one? Get one! You may not be ready to start a blog, but anyone can easily set up an About.me page—which is like an online resume.
- Compose a meaningful bio, which will help others find and follow you. It should describe your experience in the field of education and highlight topics that you follow like Maker Ed, Google Apps, or edtech.
- Add a cover image. Choose an image that tells your story. Who are you? What do you do that sets you apart? Canva is a graphic design tool that makes creating a cover image easy. It offers ready-made templates in the right size for all of the major social media platforms.
- Be consistent across all mediums. You want your followers to see the same brand on all of your social media profiles. This also means you shouldn’t change your profile picture every five minutes. Be recognizable.
Tools to build your brand and online presence
- About.me: A quick and easy personal homepage that shows your audience who you are and how to connect with you.
- Canva: An easy-to-use design tool for creating images, with templates for social media.
- Fiverr: A marketplace for services that you can use to commission a logo, avatar, or web design.
- Wix: A free website builder.
- Weebly: A free website builder.
- Buffer: A free web tool for sharing and scheduling content across multiple social media platforms.
- Nuzzel: A free web tool that lets you see the content trending among the people you follow.
- The Art of Social Media: A guide to creating a compelling social media presence, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.
- What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube: Tips for preserving your digital reputation, by Erik Qualman.
- What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube: Advice for students on protective their digital reputations, by Erik Qualman.
more on digital citizenship in this IMS blog
7 Blogging Tools for Teachers Compared and Ranked – Updated for 2017
here as a Google Doc
1. Blogger – It’s free and easy to set-up. It can be integrated into your Google Apps for Education account which means that you and your students can use the same usernames and passwords that they use in all other Google tools. You can make your blog private (up to 100 members invited by email). The drawback to it is that a lot of school filters flag it as “social media” and block it on those grounds.
1a. Edublogs – Probably the best option for elementary school and middle school use. Blogs and individual blog posts can be made private, password-protected, or public. You can create and manage your students’ accounts. The latest version of Edublogs allows all users to include videos in blog posts. Outstanding customer support.
2. Weebly for Education – It’s free to have up to 40 students in your account. You can manage your students’ accounts. You can have students contribute to a group blog and or let them manage their own individual blogs.
3. SeeSaw.me – SeeSaw was originally launched as a digital portfolio tool. The addition of a blogging component was made in January 2016. The blogging component of SeeSaw allows you to import and display your students’ digital artifacts publicly or privately. There is not much you can do with SeeSaw in terms of customization of layout and color scheme.
4. WordPress.org – If you have the technical accumen or the time to learn it (it’s not that hard), self-hosting a blog that runs on WordPress software will give you the ultimate in control and flexibility. You will be able to create and manage student accounts, have a nearly infinite variety of customizations, and you’ll be able to move your blog from server to server whenever you want to. That said, you will have to pay for hosting (or convince your school to give you server space) and you will be responsible for maintaining security updates and backing-up your blog regularly.
5. Kidblog – Allows you to manage your students’ accounts. Requires you to pay for a subscription in order to get the features that you really want. Those features include embedding videos and other media from third party sites. Powered by WordPress software.
6. WordPress.com – It’s easy to use and is free, but with some serious limitations at the free level. The free version displays advertising on your blog which you cannot control. The free version also doesn’t allow embedding content from many third-party sites.
more on blogging in this IMS blog
Beginning several versions ago and continuing through the current version of Dreamweaver, the program dispensed with the old method of applying these sorts of character formatting (which was to use the HTML <font> tag) in favor of using CSS styles. This change happened mostly behind the scenes in Code view, so if you have been using Dreamweaver for quite some time, you may not have even noticed the change. Beginning with Dreamweaver CS4, the program enforces the use of CSS for text styling by requiring you to participate in defining CSS rules for changing fonts, font sizes, and font colors.
My Note: I disagree with the statement in bold above. The difference in terms of text formatting between CS5 and CC reminds me painfully that decisive moment when iMovie changed from its simple layout to the FinalCut Pro layout. I clearly understand the reason why: the software is much more powerful, but the learning curve is also much steeper and does not allow novices (students) to be introduced to web development using Dreamweaver. Surely DW cannot satisfy all its customers, but the move is about to turn off the newbies.
The reason for the change to CSS is important. Pages styled with CSS are much more flexible than pages that use HTML <font> tags, and they can be maintained more easily. For example, when a site is redesigned, every page that uses <font> tags must be individually changed to match the new design. If you have hundreds or thousands of pages in your site, that’s a lot of work. Sites that use CSS to style text only need to change the style sheet document, and the changes automatically ripple through the whole site.
Using Adobe Edge web fonts
Previewing Files and Modifying Existing CSS Layouts Using Adobe Dreamweaver CC