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Saturday, November 2, 2013

5 Tools for Quickly Building Simple Announcement Pages

School websites and classroom blogs are excellent tools for distributing information to parents and students. But sometimes you might want to make your announcements stand-out from the rest of the cyber noise that parents and students experience on a daily basis. Or perhaps you want your students to create their own webpages to showcase their best work or to announce an upcoming school event. In those cases, you might take a look at a tool to build a stand-alone webpage dedicated to one specific event or announcement. Here are five tools for doing just that.

Striking.ly is a service that can be used to create one page websites to show off your best digital work or to advertise an event. Striking.ly provides a variety of templates for digital portfolios and digital flyers. Each template can be customized by hovering your mouse on any element of the template and selecting the edit button. Free Striking.ly pages are assigned Striking.ly subdomains. Premium accounts can have custom domains.

Page O Rama is a free service for quickly creating stand alone webpages. Creating a webpage with Page O Rama is very simple. Just visit the Page O Rama homepage, select a web address, title your page, and start typing. Page O Rama offers a good selection of text editing tools including page breaks. If you want to, you can add images to your Page O Rama pages too. If you think your page is something that you're going to want to edit and update occasionally, you can enter your email address to create an administrative log-in.

Pagefin is a free service for creating simple webpages without the need to register for an account. To create a webpage with Pagefin just click "create and share," enter the captcha code, and start designing your webpage. Pagefin does not offer any fancy template to widgets to add to your pages, just a blank slate to design on. You can add text boxes, images, and videos to your webpages. When you're happy with your page click on the share button to have a URL generated for your page. The share button will also provide you with an editing link (don't share that one).

Smore is a service for quickly creating great-looking webpages. Smore markets itself as a service for creating online flyers, but it's a little bit more than that. To me "flyer" implies that you're creating a single-use PDF and posting it online. Smore's flyers are dynamic and changeable, they're not single-use PDFs. Your Smore flyers can include many types of media including videos. Deleting or adding elements to your Smore flyer is as simple as dragging and dropping them on or off your page.

Populr is a service for creating simple webpages to advertise events and promotions. On Populr you can quickly create a stylish webpage with pictures, text, and document uploads. Populr offers a selection of templates that you can modify or you can build your page from scratch. All of the editing (aside from typing text) is done through a drag and drop interface.

iloggo - Another Simple iGoogle Alternative

Yesterday, shortly after I posted seven alternatives to iGoogle, someone sent me a message suggesting that I try iloggo too. iloggo is a free and simple replacement for iGoogle. To create your start page on iloggo simply select some of the default icons then start adding the URLs of your favorite sites. You will have to enter your email address to save your start page. A handy feature of iloggo is that you can search Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Amazon from your start page.

iloggo works in the browser on your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone. It would be nice if iloggo offered a browser bookmarklet or another method of adding sites to your page besides manually entering URLs.

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