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Load 'Em Up: Web-Authoring Software Picks

Technology Center

The Education World Tech Team shares its picks of the best software programs for classroom use. In this article, our experts reveal their choices for Web-authoring software. Don't miss the rest of this multi-part Ed World series: Load 'Em Up: The Best Software in the Education World!

Web-authoring software is used to create and post interactive Web pages, without learning a programming language. Most of the software in this category is designed for adults, but older students can use many of the programs. Interestingly, neither Claris HomePage nor PageMill, the two programs recommended most often by our tech team members, are still being produced, although copies may be available from school media centers or Web sites specializing in pre-owned software.

Each of the remaining authoring programs listed below received a single -- though glowing -- nomination from tech team members. Of those, WebExpress, CoffeeCup HTML, and Microsoft FrontPage are available for Windows only, and Apple HomePage is available only for Macintosh.

Web-Authoring Software Comparison

Installability Usability Performance Usefulness Support
Apple HomePage*
Class Homepage Builder*
CoffeeCup HTML editor*
Dreamweaver
FrontPage
GoLive*
Netscape Communicator
PageMill
SiteCentral*
WebExpress*
WebPage Builder*

The Gold Star rating was determined by considering each program's total score along with the number of recommendations submitted for the program and the tenor of reviewers' comments about it.

* based on results from a single evaluator

Add Your Vote!
The reviews and recommendations in this article represent the opinions of only our Tech Team experts. If you would like to add your rating to theirs, or if you want to rate and review another productivity program's suitability for classroom use, e-mail me at lstarr@educationworld.com.

WHAT THEY SAID

The Best Software in the Education World!

Click a category below to learn which software programs our Tech Team members recommended and how they rated the quality, performance, and usefulness of each!

* Productivity Software

* Presentation Software

* Curriculum Software

* Keyboarding Software

* Web Authoring Software

* Concept-Mapping Software

* Classroom Management Software

* Reference Software

Don't miss the main story of the series, Load 'Em Up: The Best Software in the Education World!

"Our students use Netscape Communicator," Betty Kistler told Education World. "We also have a copy of Claris HomePage for teachers to use in the lab and several copies of PageMill that came with our iMacs -- although neither is still in production. We don't really do a lot of Web page creation with our students, but we are trying to get teachers to put up class pages."

"Claris Home Page and PageMill are both easy for teachers who are interested in creating Web pages -- and easy enough for older students as well," Mary Kruel agreed. "Unfortunately, neither is still in production. Additional options for students and teachers who want to create simple, yet effective, Web pages include online tools such as HomePage (included in the AppleComputer iTools package), the WebPage Builder from Tom Snyder, and Class Homepage Builder from Scholastic.com."

Madeleine Decker's favorite authoring software is Macromedia's Dreamweaver. "Using a template of your site, you can update any pages that were created using that template," Decker said. "For example, if you add a button to your index page, Dreamweaver will add that button to all the other pages created with that template!"

"We have had seven different assistant principals in ten years," Decker noted. "Dreamweaver automatically changes the URL on the button to the new assistant principal's page. What a time saver!"

According to Russ Stamp, "Adobe GoLive is also a wonderful piece of software for Web authors. I use it with my eighth graders and they are learning the features quite easily."

"Making a Web page is a lot like creating WebQuests," Karen Kelly pointed out. "In my WebQuest workshops, I always use Microsoft FrontPage. It's set up like Microsoft Word, so if you're used to a PC, FrontPage is easy to use. The program makes it amazingly simply to create a Web page; in fact, it's not much harder than word processing! I learned FrontPage from an online tutorial.

"My school uses SiteCentral to create our school Web page," Kelly added. "It is very user friendly -- good for people who know very little about using a computer. For that reason, I don't like it! It's too prescriptive and the resulting pages don't look professional. The program is full of graphics and I don't like those either."

"The best HTML editors to get for student use," Fred Holmes concluded, "are those that are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). HTML codes are fine for advanced users but not for beginning users."

SOFTWARE SPECIFICS

Name: Apple HomePage
Manufacturer:
AppleComputer
Available Platforms: Macintosh
Approximate Price: Included in the iToolsM package from Apple Computer
Grade Level: 7-12, adult

Name: Class Homepage Builder
Manufacturer: Scholastic
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Approximate Price: Free
Grade Level: Adult

Name: CoffeeCup HTML editor
Manufacturer: Coffee Cup Software
Available Platforms: Windows
Approximate Price: $49.00 (There is also a free shareware version.)
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: Dreamweaver
Manufacturer: Macromedia
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Approximate Price: $299.00
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: FrontPage
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Available Platforms: Windows
Approximate Price: New user, $169.00; upgrade price, $89.95
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: GoLive
Manufacturer: Adobe Systems Inc.
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Approximate Price: $140.00
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: Netscape Communicator
Manufacturer: Netscape
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh, Unix
Approximate Price: Free with Netscape
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: PageMill
Manufacturer: Adobe Systems Inc.
Available Platforms: NA
Approximate Price: No longer available.
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: SiteCentral
Manufacturer: Knowledge Adventure
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Approximate Price: $99.95
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: WebExpress
Manufacturer: Microvision Development Inc.
Available Platforms: Windows
Approximate Price: $70.00
Grade Level: 7-12, adults

Name: WebPage Builder
Manufacturer: Tom Snyder Productions
Available Platforms: Windows, Macintosh
Approximate Price: $34.95 (annual subscription price)
Grade Level: Adults


 

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2001 Education World

11/28/2001



 

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