Free Classroom Websites And WordPress
Teachers at all grade levels are finding individual classroom web sites are great for communicating with students and parents.
And students put in more effort when they know that their work might be displayed on a classroom web site.
Free and open source, WordPress provides an excellent option for creating the personal and classroom web sites that can grow and expand.
Ryan McCallum created his first classroom website in 2001. It was hard work that involved a lot of time and specialized knowledge. Now, anyone can create a site instantly and easily. Ryan takes a look at 10 of the many reasons why you should jump in now.
WordPress is used for way more than "just blogs". Edublogs lists 10 different ways WordPress is being used in schools, along with examples to trigger your own inspiration and ideas.
Setting up a Teacher Website in WordPress
We know of whole schools and school districts set up a multi-user version of WordPress and give every instructor their own web site, ready to go. Here is an example from Crystal Lake, IL school district that takes teachers thru the steps needed to set up and start using WordPress.
With WordPress being free and open source, this is something your school or school district could easily replicate. Or, get together with a couple of fellow teachers and start a multi-user WordPress site of your own.
- YouTube URL
You now have a shiny new web site or web page and can share content with students, parents and administrators. Now what do you post on it? What can you put on it?
Mrs. Smoke has a few suggestions to get you started. She has broken it down to "Should" and "Should Not" lists to make it easy.
A.J. Juliani has used WordPress to build over twenty different websites that powered his classroom, personal blog, and group blogs. He covers..
- Why WordPress
- WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
- WordPress Basics
WordPress.com has created this resource to explain what you can do with a classroom website and includes exemplars.
You can even use this page to start creating a free classroom website step-by-step.
This blog entry takes a closer look at how some tech-savvy teachers are using WordPress.com to create educational experiences that seamlessly blend the traditional and virtual worlds.
This page goes thru step-by-step how to set up a web site on WordPress.com.
Other pages on this site go thru the complete process of creating and setting up your web server.
Robert Mening has developed this guide to step you thru creating your own WordPress site with your own domain name.
He says you can start blogging in 20 minutes in just 6 steps. This resource shows how easy it is to get started.
WordPress has two main web sites.
The first is WordPress.com, which allows you to create your own WordPress web site for free using their servers. While there are add-ons that you can purchase, the free version will give you everything you need to have your own place on the Internet.
Many of the sites referenced in this IMC are hosted on WordPress.com.
WordPress has two main web sites.
The second, WordPress.org, showcases what you can do with WordPress, especially when hosted on on your own, or a third party, web server.
This site is mainly for technical types, providing documentation on how WordPress works and the thousands of plugins that can be used to customize a web site. While there are fees associated with some third-party WordPress add-ons and themes, everything found on WordPress.org is available free of charge.
Most people using WordPress will never have to delve this deep to create useful and compelling web sites.
Looking for an easy-to-use alternative to WordPress? There are a number of options available, including Google's Sites.
Sites allows you to create your own web site with simple drag and drop formatting. While not as flexible as WordPress, it offers a free alternative for educators that's worth checking out.
This blog article addresses many of the common questions and myths around WordPress. It explains how WordPress is easy to use, beautiful, scalable and why it's free.
This book takes you step by step thru the process of setting up your WordPress site, choosing a theme (i.e., the layout and colors of your web site), adding content, using plugins, and more. Covers the differences between WordPress.com and hosting your own WordPress site, and how to do set up a WordPress site either way. Recommended as a good how-to-get-started book by our webmaster.
SiteGround is one of the many third party companies that will host your WordPress web site at low or no cost.
The advantage of these companies is you can have more options or plugins than those provided by WordPress.com, without the hassle of running your own web server. Different companies offer different levels of flexibility, speed and support, so it pays to shop around.
Volcano Café is an example of a site hosted on WordPress.com. Free does not need to mean ugly or limited.
We talk about this site in Volcanoes.
WordPress supports RSS feeds "out of the box".
This article explains why that can be useful and how to access them on your WordPress site.
Just Do It
Getting started with WordPress involves a couple of steps, but is easy and straightforward. Give it a shot, start simple, and see how it evolves.