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Thread: Need help choosing a site builder - kids

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    sbmongoos's Avatar
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    Need help choosing a site builder - kids

    A client, that is a small private school, wants their kids to be able to design sites. Using basic site builder software. Looking at this new Drag N Drop app that Powweb has drops whatever you create into the root and you cannot specify other folders. Is there another program kids can use and we can point to a specific folder to place these sites.

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    Mod.. with bite.. Croc Hunter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure you'd even be allowed do that here. Might be better off using a free website sharing site like MySpace.
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    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    Depends on the age and skill level and number of pupils.

    You could try getting them to use NVU (or Compozer). I know it's not drag'n'drop, but why teach them the easy way
    You could then create multiple logins with their own 'root' and show them how to upload.

    I successfully did the latter for pages that weren't going to be on view for a long time. The pupils were 12-13yrs old.
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    sbmongoos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanS View Post
    Depends on the age and skill level and number of pupils.

    You could try getting them to use NVU (or Compozer). I know it's not drag'n'drop, but why teach them the easy way
    You could then create multiple logins with their own 'root' and show them how to upload.

    I successfully did the latter for pages that weren't going to be on view for a long time. The pupils were 12-13yrs old.
    Why the easy way. It's what was requested by the director and probably the age of the group. The Drag N Drop option won't work anyway as it has to drop files at the root directory it looks like. I know they're not up to buying several domain names and then point them each to a separate folder to get around this.

    Based on the screenshots I think NVU and Compozer would be to much. Need a program that works with templates that they can create with.
    But no doubt you can see where I'm going. Just need a tool for kids to use to be creative and then upload it to a folder where they can come back and see it "live" on the web.

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    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    What software do they have available already? Do they have the M$ suite? Do they have Publisher?

    Publisher has templates. Although it is very in-efficient in producing websites (every single image is stored individually multiple times if it is used multiple times, it would probably do the trick.

    PagePlus is another that the school may be able to get via a school license free.
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    sbmongoos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanS View Post
    What software do they have available already? Do they have the M$ suite? Do they have Publisher?

    Publisher has templates. Although it is very in-efficient in producing websites (every single image is stored individually multiple times if it is used multiple times, it would probably do the trick.

    PagePlus is another that the school may be able to get via a school license free.
    It's a small private school. They don't much software to work with. I do believe they have Publisher but that's from MS Office XP which is rather dated. This looks interesting though: http://kids-website-builder.com/

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    Custom User Title entrecon's Avatar
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    Age of Kids?
    Current computer configuration at school? (do they have a network, server, etc.)
    Teachers goal/lesson plan for this project?

    All of these would dictate what direction to head in.
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    sbmongoos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entrecon View Post
    Age of Kids?
    Current computer configuration at school? (do they have a network, server, etc.)
    Teachers goal/lesson plan for this project?

    All of these would dictate what direction to head in.
    It's simple:

    • gradeschool age so probably around 8 or so
    • they have a network with broadband but no true server...don't need it. In the lab they are using an XP Pro PC as server.
    • simply build web sites using templates to get them familiar with the concept

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    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    One obvious question, what is the skill level of the support staff or teacher that will be assisting? Why head in the direction of drag'n'drop? HTML is easy and can be fun for even these young children.

    Which concept is it that the teacher is trying to get them to understand? Is it the use of drag'n'drop or website building?
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    Custom User Title entrecon's Avatar
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    I would agree with Ian. If you really want to work with them on Drag and Drop and layout/design go in the direction of PowerPoint or some kind of Desk top publishing.

    A server would have allowed them to publish websites internally instead of on a host out there that may have issues with multiple sites being created or could run into conflicts with a classroom of students all trying to connect at once.

    If you really want to get them into website design I would start with HTML and establish a curriculum that eventually builds them into PHP, MySQL, CSS, XML and other langauges. Websites have moved into a more dynamic structure driven by databases. Starting them in a drag and drop environment is not going to serve them well in the long run.

    I would also look at integrating the technology into the curriculum instead of treating it as a seperate piece. Have them build a website that taht is related to another topic that they are covering. So, if a 5th grader is learning about their state, they should create a web page with information on state bird, tree, etc.
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    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    Is there a state/district sanctioned curricula for computers? I don't know much about the US education system.

    Topic based using computers as a tool to produce a piece of writing, display etc will be more beneficial and interest more of the students than the topic of creating websites.
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    sbmongoos's Avatar
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    The skill level is low. This is a small private, local school that runs on local funds. Budget is key here and they simply want a place to start from. I have no idea what curriculum they have planned with this. There is no plan to get them into web design. That was never the idea. They want to keep it simple, have a little fun being creating, see how it goes. I don't think uploading the web pages to their web host will be an issue. They can simply be nested in a sub folders and then kids can enjoy the fact that they made a web site and it made it onto the web. No one is going to see likely but them and maybe some classmates and/or parents.

    Drag N Drop was just an idea. It's not going to work anyway. So, that idea is dead. The idea itself was because it would be simple and easy for kids to get their feet wet. As for publishing these sites that will be controlled as the teacher will be involved and shown how to do it. They may choose to simply load the sites onto the "server" but I know that's not what they want.

    Thanks for the ideas.

  13. #13
    Former Spam Filter (EU) IanS's Avatar
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    I think something like NVU would fit the bill (or using part of the Office suite). NVU is free. Either way they'd create a few pages linked together and be able to call it a site.
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