Wix

http://wix.com
Free flash websites that can be embedded into other sites such as Destiny homepage.
Tutorial available on handout page

Samples and Ideas

Homepages: see destiny pages: http://destiny.aisd.net
Vocabulary Building Activities
Author Study
Read Alikes: http://space-dementia07.wix.com/part-time-indian-readalikes
Promote a social skill: http://www.wix.com/maccs1/bullying-uk-juniors
Highlight New Books: http://www.woolworth.org/#!new-books
Advertise Clubs: http://lasfrijoleras.wix.com/las-frijoleras

Pros

Lots of helpful tutorials
Easy to embed codes in other sides (like Destiny)
Do not need to know code to create a powerful website

Cons

Takes a little practice
Is free so some of the items are still in beta
Can be time consuming choosing the layout, stickers, etc.
Flash based so will not show up on iPod, iPads, or iPhones.

Wikispaces

http://wikispaces.com
Free wiki for educators. Add widgets, documents, editors, and discussion boards.
Tutorial available on handout page

Samples and Ideas

Use for your library or for a collaboration tool between you and other librarians or faculty.
Create pages for book news, booktrailers, tutorials, web links, library calendar, certain classes, etc.
http://aisdbookbytes.wikispaces.com
http://martinhslibrary.wikispaces.com
http://librarianresources.wikispaces.com/
http://joycevalenzaworkshop.wikispaces.com
http://fergusonlibrary.wikispaces.com/

Pros

Free for educators who can embed all sorts of great widgets and files.

Cons

Sometimes you have to tweak the code to get it to embed.
Can't embed into your destiny page like Wix, but you can create a link to it.





Kidblog

http://kidblog.org
A hosting site for free classroom blogs that are easily set to protect student privacy.
Tutorial available on handout page

Samples and Ideas

Record results of science experiments
Student book blogs
Portfolios

Password required to view

Pros

Can set privacy easily
Can allow multiple users to approve/create
Does not require student email
Takes general editing or HTML code

Cons

Approving each post can be time-consuming, but it is worth it to protect privacy.



Edublog

http://www.edublogs.org

Samples and Ideas

http://futura.edublogs.org/
http://thewhslibrary.edublogs.org/
Have students maintain blogs about the books they've read, or you could blog about what you've read.
Have students maintain a blog about their research process (What they want to know, their struggles with the research process, what they learned, how they would research more efficiently next time, etc.)
Create a blog to use as your school library site or to share your professional knowledge with others.

Pros

There's a free version for teachers and students that's easy to use.
You can have a lot more options (if you pay for it.)

Cons

The free version has some ads.
20MB storage limit and no statistics with the free storage version.


Twiducate

http://twiducate.com

Samples and Ideas

Have students tweet about their research or books they've read.

Pros

Twiducate is a relatively safe environment for students to post comments and for teachers to monitor.
It's free!

Cons




Google Sites

http://google.com Click on More at top and drag down to Sites
Free website/wiki creator

Samples and Ideas

Create a personal, professional, or library website.
Recommend to teachers looking for an easy to use website creator.
Have students create a website with different pages to exhibit what they or their group has learned on a topic or understood from a book (plot, theme, figurative language, tone, etc.)
https://sites.google.com/site/mssevernspage/Home

Pros

This user-friendly free website creator has professional templates and web layouts, including classroom and wiki templates.
Loads of apps can be easily found and inserted, and you can insert widgets, too. Click on html editor and embed your code. If that doesn't work, search their widgets and use those instead. (I couldn't use my own Twitter widget, but I did a search of googlesites widgets and was able to add my twitter feed that way.)

Cons

Requires Google account.


Weebly

http://education.weebly.com/
Free education sites for you and your students!
One of Time's 50 best websites of the year.

Samples and Ideas

Create your own website or have students create websites.
http://martinhslibrary.weebly.com/
http://cnapolitano.weebly.com/

Pros

It's free for educators and students.
Easy to use drag-and-drop editing.
You can create bulk accounts for students and password protect them for free.
No advertising for education accounts.
Over 70 designs.
You can add an unlimited number of blogs with different permission settings.
You can publish to your own domain if you want.
Unlimited file storage.

Cons

You can only create 40 bulk accounts for students unless you want to pay money.
You cannot upload a single file that is over 5 MB.



Penzu
http://penzu.com
Encourage students to do online journal entries which they can share via email or print.

Samples and Ideas

Have students journal as part of the research, reading, or writing processes.
Penzu journal.JPG
Penzu journal entry.JPG

Pros

Very user-friendly, free version allows for changing fonts as well as text color and size.
Users can print or email their entries and can have entries emailed to themselves based on criteria (every entry, once a year, shortened entries, etc.)
Photos can be inserted as in the example above.
Users are shown how many words they've typed in the upper left-hand corner, and journal entries are auto-saved while working on them.
Individual entries can be locked and password protected, so no one can see them if the user desires privacy. Passwords can even be encrypted.
The user may conduct a search of his or her entries using a search box.

Cons

In order for a teacher or librarian to view an entry, the student must either hit the share button put in the teacher or librarian's address, or print out the entry.
It costs money to get the following features: tagging, customized backgrounds and stationary. At the time of this writing, it cost $19/year.