I’m not a big fan of posting my course materials online in Word or .pdf format, so I usually use Dreamweaver to create them as Web documents. While I like Dreamweaver a lot and will continue to use it, I am not an expert Web designer, and it takes a bit of time to set up the style sheet, lay out the page, find my images, create a look, manage my site, etc. Besides, classes start Tuesday, and…well…Let’s just say time is not something I have a lot of when it comes to finishing my syllabi and course schedules.
So to create my materials quickly, I am experimenting with free Web editors to see if they will expedite the process, and so far they have. I looked at Weebly, Yola, Jimdo, and Moonfruit, though there are a lot more editors available. I chose Weebly and Yola simply because I found templates I liked; any of these editors would have met my needs.
All are easy to use. The templates provide everything from highly formal to retro looks, and the text formatting features are similar to some of those in Word. If you’re feeling really brave, you can also manipulate html code to achieve a specific look or format, but really, all you need to do is a bit of clicking and a bit of dragging and dropping, and you’re done.
There are at-cost versions of the editors that offer more than just the basic features, but if you’re looking for a quick way to create a visually friendly, easy-to-navigate Web document, you might want to try one of these. You may also find uses for these in your classroom if you have students do any Web writing or have them create Web-based resumes. In fact, I plan to have my students use one of these editors in our unit on writing for print vs. writing for the Web.
Have you used a free Web editor for yourself or your classes? Please share your experiences with us.