Monday, March 14, 2011

Weebly as free online portfolio tool

I will be teaching an online course for New England College on Portfolios in Professional Writing, and I revisited my Online Portfolio Adventure, recreating my portfolio in Weebly. This is one of the tools recommended and supported by Salt Lake Community College. Weebly is the 38th tool that I have used to re-create my electronic portfolio. The process moved fairly smoothly; I lost new pages several times, and there wasn't an obvious "save" button (the tool saves automatically). Weebly allowed me to reconstruct my portfolio in less than two hours, copying the information from my Google Sites portfolio where I had the URLs on the page (and the links). All of my other artifacts are web links. Placing images wherever I wanted on a page was more complex, compared to Google Sites.

The real advantage of Weebly is the many different tools, gadgets and widgets available: Photo Gallery, Slideshow, File, Flash, Google Maps and YouTube Video as well as custom HTML. The Pro (paid) version has an Audio Player, Video upload, embedded documents, and password-protected pages. I created a Table of Contents on the upper left side of the page (the Navigation, with links to each section on the site, which automatically shows on each page), although there were no sub-pages for site organization. I am impressed with this tool. I was able to create this hyperlinked set of web pages, with no knowledge of HTML, although it helped when I had to use Custom HTML to add Embed codes for videos from my YouTube,, and Google Video accounts.

This program would work very well for a presentation portfolio, and would also work well if the goal is a learning portfolio, with interactivity and feedback through the blog. Each blog entry can have comments added with moderation, and any page can be hidden in navigation menu for privacy purposes. Weebly has an Education version, where a teacher can manage a group of student accounts. The Premium account cost ($39.95) plus the cost of a domain name ($33.95/year for two years) makes it much more expensive than GoogleApps.

Through the process of recreating this portfolio, I also updated my Google Sites portfolio, which is really my favorite version to date. I think my 2006 Apple iWeb portfolio is the most attractive, but very difficult to update, so it is frozen in time, with lots of broken links!

1 comment:

wout said...

Paspartout is also a great portfolio tool. It can be used for free and the subscription plans are great value for money.