7 Great Website Builders

Want to build a beautiful website or web page? Here are seven choices. I recommend all of them to my students for efolios. I let them pick.

  1. Weebly – You get 5 pages free. Easy to use and collaborate with others.
  2. Webs – A great site that some students have used to build professional sites for businesses in town.
  3. Wix – My most artistic students like R gravitate to this one.
  4. Wikispaces – You can build a full website with this one.
  5. Tackk – A lovely website builder. Ben Wilkoff wrote a great post about how he's using this one in class to create one pagers.)
  6. Strikingly – A beautiful way to build a “splash page” for events and activities.
  7. Google Sites – If you have Google apps for education, you can turn this on and let students build.

Snagit: A Must Have Screen Capture Extension for Chrome

Snagit from TechSmith rocks. Every Chromebook and person using Chrome should have it. The Chrome extension is free and lets you capture pictures, a scrolling version of the screen and even quick videos. (Screencastomatic is great for screencasts too but Snagit requires NO setup at all.)

If you're worried about too many extensions, remember to get Extensity! (I've blogged about this tool before that lets you turn extensions on an off with a click.)

I use Snagit on a daily basis. I found it when I wrote my getting started with Chromebooks 101 Guide for Intel. Such a great tool everyone can use. This is particularly important because if you're teaching students to be safe online, you'll want them to Stop, Screenshot, Block, Tell and Share. (Get my free poster or buy one on cafepress — this is important to teach kids.) See freebies below for more on this.



iTunes Family Sharing: Share Apps, Music, Movies & more…

So, you all love Adele. But you don't want to pay for her music for every single person in your family. You don't have to! Use iTunes Family Sharing. My husband picks the best music (and I'm pretty good at picking apps) so we've had fun pilfering each other's collections and adding them to our own. This is something you do need to set up!

How does iTunes Family Sharing Work?

Apple has quietly allowed up to 6 family members share their music, games, and apps on iTunes with iTunes Family Sharing. You have to update to the most recent iOS and enable family sharing.

See more info on my Edutopia technology gift tips post about family sharing. 

How do I set up iTunes Family Sharing?

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud.
  2. Tap Set Up Family Sharing, then tap Get Started.
  3. Confirm that you want to be the family organizer and that you're signed in with your personal Apple ID.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions.
iTunes Family Sharing

Refer to the Apple website for up to date information on iTunes family sharing.

What does it mean to be the family organizer?

According to Apple,

“With Family Sharing, one adult in the family—the family organizer—agrees to pay for any iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases that other family members initiate while they're part of the family group. This also includes content that can't be shared with the family, such as ongoing subscription purchases initiated by family members, including iCloud storage, and iTunes Match subscriptions.”

This is an important decision, because the family organizer will now be receiving charges for everyone (after their iTunes credit is used.) It might mean that couples might want the lead person to put iTunes cards on their account, but it does take iTunes credit out for the individual before it charges the card.

MONEY SAVING TIP: Don't worry, you still have family controls after you do it. If you don't and your toddler downloads apps, they might end up on your iphone or iPad. Just make sure that your children require approval before making purchases and you'll be notified any time they want to buy or download something.


Make Easy Infographics with Piktochart

When I asked about the easiest infographic maker yesterday on Twitter, I had three tweets in my inbox in moments suggesting Piktochart. While it isn't free, there are education packages for teachers and students. (Of course, if you want free, Canva has made tremendous strides in their infographic work lately.)

Haiku Deck in the Classroom: Now Built into Slideshare

Haiku Deck is an essential presentation program for every iPad or tablet. If I need a presentation in literally five minutes it is what I use. It is great when you've identified some knowledge gaps and want to hit them quickly.


Haiku Deck in the Classroom

Haiku Deck easily pulls in Creative Commons images AND cites them for you.  For example, my students voted on the lesson they wanted on the last day of school. It was how to “get” more followers on Twitter. (You don't “get” followers. IF you're helpful people add you to their lives and PLN. That was the first thing I corrected. 😉 )

I like students to use Haiku Deck because they can focus on what they want to say instead of finding the perfect picture. The pictures they've curated are incredible.

Citations are handled for you!

How to mobilize followers – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Haiku Deck is now Inside Slideshare

When I opened Feedly this morning I could have shrieked. Richard Byrne made the announcement that HaikuDeck now works inside Slideshare. Slideshare is where you can go to embed and share slides across all platforms. Many of us use it to share our presentations, keynotes, etc.

If you haven't used one or both of these and you give presentations, now is the time.



Having Problems Connecting With Google Hangout?

Optimize your network for Hangouts – Google Apps Administrator Help

Having problems with Google hangout? Send this information to your network administrator with port information for the firewall that they'll need to know. I went from Google hangout working to one day my Sonicwall was making it so I couldn't hear the other person. This port information did the trick.

346 Uses of Pinterest in Education #edtechchat

Pinterest in Education

346 uses of Pinterest in Education

See EdtechReview  for the full article. Pinterest is being used in education. I see many teachers sharing ideas for how the room is organized and lots of ideas for elementary and kindergarten teachers but you can also find handouts, crafts, and so much more. Share this infographic to help other educators learn more.

Save time on repeated keystrokes with AutoText

Get more efficient with an autotext app like Phrase Express and save time.

Get more efficient with an autotext app like Phrase Express and save time.

Did you know that you can take that autotext and autocorrect you've set up to your entire computer? I use Phrase Express, a free program that will import autocorrect from Microsoft Office (so those pesky words I've saved are there) but will also let me automated repeated phrases. It is a time saver.

How I use AutoText:

I used to use canned responses in Gmail but now, with my show Every Classroom Matters, I find myself typing confirmations into calendar appointments and other places besides email. This lets me have the same text available everywhere. I can save the settings and move to other computers I use as well.


Cost: Free