Resource Introduction: The New Google Sites
What is it?
The new Google Sites is still a straightforward website builder, but it is a revised approach to building websites that makes that task easier in a bunch of ways:
- Simpler Development The developer interface is streamlined, making it easier to create and modify pages, add content, tweak visual design, and more. Many of the development tools are simple drag-and-drop.
- Google Integration Building sites with Google content, like Slides presentations, Google Docs, YouTube videos, Blogger groups, Google Forms, and all the rest, is much easier.
- Real-Time Collaboration Multiple users can work on the same website at the same time without the problems of locking each other out.
- Responsive Design The appearance of the site responds better to the device, so the beautifully designed desktop version will not look like a mess on a tablet or smartphone.
- Simpler Tools The complex tools from the old Google Sites, like gadgets, are gone. This might lead to less power for creating diverse interaction on the site, but it also makes development simpler.
How can I use it?
The simple and quick ability to develop websites is an incredibly useful addition to any classrooms. While many teachers use the super-powerful Google Classroom to manage their classes online, building a separate site with more traditional interactions may sometimes be useful. Better than that, the new Google Sites is available to students, which means they can use it to build sites for projects, portfolios, and more.
Here are some ideas:
- Build a site that showcases a literary, musical, or artistic period, an historical period, an important scientist or mathematician. Load that site with videos, static images, and maybe even an interactive Google Street View Trek of a world location. (Make this even better by co-building it with a fellow teacher.)
- Build a site around a long-term project that students are completing with all of the Google Drive files, external resources, and more that they might need to complete it. Then, post their completed projects on the site. This would move the project out of the chronologically-organized stream of Google Classroom. (Make this even better by developing a project with a fellow teacher in another content area for cross-curricular learning.)
- Support students in building sites that showcase their work as portfolios. They can load the site with photographs, documents, spreadsheets, videos, external links, and anything else they need to show off their personal work.
- Support students in collaborating on sites that present the work of projects, showcasing research, writing, discussion, and more.
Do you have other cool ideas? Email them to us to share with others!
Who’s using it?
Check out these teachers that know and use Google Sites in your school. Ask them for help!
At Northview, Lauren Stewart and Ryan Creech
Are you or someone you know using this? Notify us, and we’ll post your or their name here as a building expert! Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out TeacherTech’s excellent introduction to the new Google Sites. Then, use the resources below that for extra help.