DESIGNING YOUR OWN WEBSITE
Computer Training for Teachers
|Sooner or later, many
teachers are going to need to learn how to produce a web
page. This can be a bit daunting at first, but luckily
there is plenty of material on the web to help you. Using
the resources set out below, you should be able to teach
yourself in a pretty short time how to produce a website
and post it on the Web.
WHERE TO START
A great place to start is Fred Riley's module Creating a World Wide Web Site. This is part of the ICT4LT Project (it is module 3.3) which aims to provide a Web-based course in ICT for teachers of modern foreign languages. It consists of 15 different modules and is free at least until 31 Dec 2000.
The "Creating a World Wide Web Site" module is designed for complete newcomers to web page design. It explains all the basic things you need to know and also provides all sorts of useful links.
Below is just one way you might go about learning how to produce a web page and post it on the Web. Much of the information is based on the ICT4LT module, where far more detailed information can be found on all the topics mentioned below.
A word of warning at this stage. Before you even think of building a website, you need to decide what you want to say, to whom and why. You also need to give some serious thought to the design of your website before you start building it.
In order to design a web page, a basic knowledge of HTML is very helpful. A great introduction to basic HTML, written in a very straightforward style, is Andy Carvin's HTML Crash Course for Educators. Another course which covers pretty much the same ground though in a bit more detail is NCSA's "A Beginner's Guide to HTML mentioned in the ICT4LT module.
YOUR FIRST WEB PAGE
A very easy way to write your first web page is to write your page in Microsoft Word and then simply save it as an HTML document, ie as a web page, using the File, Save As, Save as type menu and selecting "HTML document".
By now you should have some an idea what HTML is all about and have tried writing your first web page. Now, it's time to produce something a little more complicated - a number of web pages linked together, ie a web site. For this it is good to have an HTML editor to help you write your web pages. A good example of an HTML editor you can download for free from the Web is 1stPage 2000. You can download 1stPage 2000 here.
PUTTING YOUR WEBSITE ON-LINE
Once you have written your web pages by writing them in Word and saving them as HTML documents and/or using your HTML editor, the next thing you need to do is make your website available to the rest of the world by uploading it onto the Web. To do that you will first need space on a Web server. There are literally hundreds of free webspace providers like <Geocities> on the Net, the only disadvantage being that you have to put up with adverts on your site in return for the free web space.
A good alternative is to use web space provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). For example, if you use Volny or Contactel in the Czech Republic to get access to the Internet, then in addition to providing you with a free email address, both of these ISPs also provide you with 10 MB of free web space.
Once you have found some free space on the Web, the next thing is to load the web pages you have created into your web space. To do that, you need an FTP client, like "WS_FTP LE". "LE" is the limited edition which can be downloaded from for free, from CSRA.net. When you have downloaded this page into your browser, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for "Primary Site". If you have Windows 95, 98 or NT on your PC, click on "Download LE 5.08 32 bit Self-Extracting" and follow the instructions.
For a simple introduction to what an FTP client is and how it works, check out Imaginary Landscape's FTP tutorial
CHECKING YOUR WEBSITE IS WORKING PROPERLY
Once you have got put your website on the Web, it's a good idea to check that it is working properly. To do that, use a program like Doctor HTML
For more information, I would strongly recommend you take a look at Module 3.3 of the ICT4LT Project referred to at the beginning of this section.
Computer Training for Teachers
© Phil Brabbs