Not sure if this is the right forum to be asking, but for next year I'm wanting to do a few things with my class. These are the things I'm wanting to set up:
-A class information page on the web so that parents can regularly (hopefully) check up on upcoming dates, when work is due, what the weekly homework tasks are, etc. It would be good if I could also upload links to assignments that I've typed up on Word/Publisher/etc.
-A class 'sharing page' where I could upload work/videos of students' work for parents to view throughout the term. Also not sure which video uploading site would be best for this, preferably one that is not open to the public.
-A discussion forum where students can add/discuss their thoughts on a topic or book where are covering in class, and also possibly could discuss pieces of work that other class members have done (eg, I would upload a story a student has written, other students could type positive feedback).

So my question is, what websites/Internet tools (preferably free) would be best for these functions?

Many thanks!

Mic.

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Well, http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers would probably accomplish most of those goals.

You could use a dedicated micro blogging platform like edmodo for the discussions, but personally I would still recommend Weebly for Education. You could do a teacher website for your information page, and create a student account for your sharing page. Student accounts can be password protected, so your content would have restricted views. For a discussion forum, you could create a discussion subject by posting it in a blog post and students could respond by leaving a comment.

The video may be an issue because under the restrictions you mention, you are unlikely to get that for free. Vimeo let you password protect videos, so you could try that. Otherwise, if you upgrade to Weebly Pro, $39.95, (but with a 25% discount if you email dan@weebly.com and mention classroom 2.0 in the next two weeks), you can have an unbranded video and audio player that you can upload videos for.

If you were more set on a formal discussion forum format, then you may have to combine two or more sites, but if you had Weebly as your base, you could link to an Edmodo discussion area from your Weebly site. However, if you were creative you could do it all through Weebly. I have two sites with Weebly, a class website and a technology blog, so feel free to ask for any help.
Hi Mic,
I use wikispaces for my 6th graders, doing all the things you want to do. You are welcome to take a look and "take" any ideas or sites you want. Hope this helps.
Kate

http://sixthgradeteamwiki.wikispaces.com
I also use a wiki to do the aforementioned things (though the discussion forum is more for parents)
http://mayskes.barrow.wikispaces.net/

I use vimeo, teachertube, and motionbox for the videos
Here are all the things we've done or used. Let me know if you want any 'how'd ya do that?' info.
Thanks heaps for your ideas/examples (Nancy is your post missing a link?). Now to decide whether to go for Weebly or a Wikispace. I'm going to make up a page as a trial and see how I go, no doubt I'll have more further questions later on. Cheers!
Michael, you are right! You can see the stuff we have done HERE.
I've started setting up a Weebly page, and plan on signing up for Weebly Pro early next year. Johnathan, I have a few questions:
-Is the Weebly Pro subscription for one year?
-I would like to make my whole website password protected, can you give individual students their own password?
-Does Weebly Pro include having your own website address without having "weebly" in it?
-How easy is it to add things to your page, such as the current weather?
-How do students make a blog comment?

While I'm at it, I also thought I'd ask about the Spellingcity website, how do you set it up for your class?

Thanks!
I use Weebly Pro for my classroom website and know that I am only touching the tip of the full potential of the site application. Recently, I was frustrated because I needed to email a rather large file. Then I figured out since I have this account I can create another website used primarily to upload large files for others to access and download after they enter a password. I have created links to Picasa to view student pictures. My students access their textbook through our site as well. I have used Weebly for a year and a half and still am learning new ways to make it useful in the classroom. Here is my site: http://hawaiianfifthgrade.weebly.com/
Have got my Weebly page cranking, my class loves it. Thanks for all the help.

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