Teacher Tap

Web Whacking

I only have one connection in my classroom, but I want to access websites on all my computers.
My students can't sit still long enough to load an image-intensive web page.
I have some computers that are too slow to run Internet, but can still run a web browser.

man workingWhen doing presentations, I'd like to have the websites available without needing an Internet connection.
There are many times when you'd like to have a website ready to use, but you don't have the time or connection to load it in class or for a presentation. Utility software can solve your problem. It's possible to download websites for use on your hard drive without a network connection. This process is sometimes called "web page harvesting", but most people call it "whacking" the site.
In the mid 1990s a software package called Web Whacker was introduced. This "off-line browsing tool" allowed users to download or "whack" web pages for use later. Although Web Whacker has gone through numerous versions, it is still the most popular package for downloading web pages to your hard drive. Available for both Macintosh and Windows systems, you can easily download and try Web Whacker before purchasing.
Download a 30-Day (or 15 whack) demo of Web Whacker at BlueSquirrel.

Besides Web Whacker, there are other programs that will help you download web pages. There are shareware and low cost alternatives such as WebFetch, and Web Retriever, but I'd recommend the original Web Whacker.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are pros and cons to downloading websites for use off-line.



Making the Decision to Whack

When making the decision whether or not to whack a web page, consider the following issues:
Whack it if...

Don't Whack it if...

Final Thoughts

A primary value of the Internet is the ability to interact with others and link to connected ideas and resources. When you harvest a site, you lose many of those benefits. In some cases, printing the website might be just as effective as viewing it from a screen. Before using any website, consider its value and how students and teachers will benefit from its use.

Try Web Whacker

Download the Web Whacker demo and give it a try.

If you'd like some step-by-step instructions, download the Web Whacker Worksheet in PDF.

Try whacking one of the following information-rich web pages:

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