Weebly

weebly logo

Weebly is a web-design tool that offers professional looking, high-quality templates for creating websites. Originally, the website was intended to host e-portfolios and personal webpages but currently it is widely used by artists, educators, and anyone who wants to create a website by dragging and dropping elements on a template. Weebly was created by David Rusensko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri in 2007. The company has worked collaboratively with Paypal, Google Ads and Apple, making it compatible with these and other technologies. (Source)

Price Free or Pro (In 2016: $8.99 per month)
Type of learning Social constructivism; Connectivism
Ease of Use ★★★★✩
Privacy ★★✩✩✩
Accessibility ★★★★✩
Class Size Unlimited
ISTE Standards for Students Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator

Evaluation Criteria

Access

Weebly can be accessed from multiple devices. The company has developed free applications for Android and Apple devices that allow basic editing of Weebly sites (e.g., creating, revising, managing pages).

Ease of Use

The drag-and-drop functionality of Weebly makes the web design process simple and easy.

Access

The paid version ($8.99/month) includes e-commerce features and more elaborate templates. The website is available in 17 languages.  The company requires the website developer to be above 17 years old.

Privacy

By disclosing information of your Google or Facebook account, the company shares information with Google Ad services. For e-commerce, they guarantee some security features. See the Weebly Privacy Policy: https://www.weebly.com/privacy

Accessibility

Weebly complies with the following criteria to make the websites accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments: contrast and colors adjustable, resizable text via (CTRL +), responsive design, headline structure, descriptive links, and ALT-text for images.

Power & Bias

The company is not responsible for the content of the websites and the platform is accessible to anyone who wants to create a website, this creates an ethical problem since there is no control of the content and purposes of the websites hosted in Weebly. A very famous case of misuse of Weebly occurred in 2014 when the terrorist group ISIS hosted its websites on this platform. The Indian Government ordered a blockage of such websites based on their dangerous contents.

***Weebly video transcript here***

Weebly  & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool. Here is an example of how Weebly fits the SAMR model:

  • Substitution: Students can use the website in place of a physical portfolio to organize and showcase learning products.
  • Augmentation: Weebly offers students the possibility to reach a wider audience. Students can showcase their work not only for their teacher and peers but to anyone with Internet access.
  • Modification: Multimodal content, including videos, images, and sounds can be incorporated on Weebly sites, making e-portfolios richer than ever. Learners can customize their own website by selecting their favorite design, images, and content.
  • Redefinition: In the past, designing a professional looking website required advanced web development skills. Weebly makes possible website development by simply dragging and dropping elements in templates. Students and teachers can become producers of digital creations (e.g., web quests, courses, tutorials ) via Weebly to educate people around the world about a specific topic.

Learning Activities

E-portfolios, or digital portfolios, serve to collect documents, videos, images that showcase learning outcomes in all subjects. It requires a process of curation, reflexive organization, and design. When learners curate and showcase their own work they are more reflexive about the audience and can see a purpose for their learning process beyond the classroom. This also helps students create a digital identity, and collaborate with peers.  In terms of assessment, e-portfolios help teachers track and organize the different learning stages and learning outcomes of their students all in one place.

Resources

How to Use  Weebly

  1. Log in with Google or Facebook
  2.  Select a ThemeWeebly select a theme
  3. Drag and drop text blocks or images weebly drag and drop
  4. Choose a website name and domainChoose a name and domain
  5.  Publish and share.

Research

Dorninger, C., & Schrack, C. (2008). Future learning strategy and ePortfolios in education. In Learning to Live in the Knowledge Society (pp. 227-230). Springer US. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.569.4599&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Roberts, P., Maor, D., & Herrington, J. (2016). ePortfolio-Based learning environments: Recommendations for effective scaffolding of reflective thinking in higher education. Journal of Educational Technology and Society19(4), 22-33. http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/33749/1/5113.pdf

All images sourced from https://www.weebly.com/home/ and http://timse-portfolio.weebly.com/index.html