While numerous websites are available today which can be used to share educational content with students, parents and others, it is VERY important to be aware of advertising and the specific types of advertising which websites utilize. This post provides a case in point.

I’ve experimented with the free webservice Wirenode.com to create a “mobile friendly” website which I’ve used a few times during the introduction to screencasts I’ve recorded with Screenr. The problem I noticed this evening with the site is the ad displayed below my content: It is an ad to “Get Hot Pics” on a mobile website decidely NOT appropriate for sharing with students.

Reason NOT To use wirenode

I’m not going to directly link to that ad website, since I don’t care to provide them with any additional Google pagerank karma thanks to my post, but you can see the address in my screenshot above. The content of that site and the ways in which people are (and will continue to) use mobile phones to share photos and videos should be the subject of another post entirely. Freedom has a dark side, and we unfortunately can see it in websites like these. :-(

Be very careful and deliberate in selecting websites and web services for class blogs and learning portals. My top FREE website platform suggestions for teachers now (included on my new book and website project, TalkWithMedia.com) are ad-free WikiSpaces for Educators sites, Google Sites, KidBlog, Posterous, and Class Blogmeister. I will NOT include Wirenode in that shortlist. Do you have other ad-free website platforms you use educationally and would recommend to others, not on this list?

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On this day..

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  • http://twitter.com/OnlineCrsLady Laura Gibbs

    I am a big fan of Blogger.com for the content I publish with students – what they see is ad-free, and it has a great new mobile viewing option now, so the blog posts look great on a smartphone, very readable and navigable. There are, however, GoogleAds on the editing view of the blog, and since I often publish content that is about Latin (i.e. the Latin language), the ads will be for “Latin Lovers” and such. So, Blogger.com works great for the content I want to share with students w/ good accessibility on a mobile viewing device – like my class announcements: http://ouclassannouncements.blogspot.com – but it is not a good solution for student publishing; it’s ad-free for viewers, but not for people editing the blog.
    I am a big fan of PBWorks.com (wiki) which is ad-free for educators, no ads to be seen anywhere, but it does not have a good mobile version yet.
    Laura Gibbs, Univ. of Oklahoma

  • http://twitter.com/dreambition Brad Wilson

    Wes, I highly recommend Weebly for Education for teacher/class/student websites/blogs. I have all of my older sites over on Wetpaint, but they no longer support their ad-free edu program. They have tons of templates and the functionality with widgets & multimedia is pretty good for free accounts. Weebly also allows for up to 40 free student sites under your control, so my student blogs are hosted there as well as our class blog and the moderation is very simple. See http://www.stewart4.weebly.com

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