GOOGLE SITES

Let's Practice:
       
Insert one of each of the following types of pages into this Site:
  • Web page - A basic page that allows you to write content and embed gadgets.  This is your basic blank slate.
  • A Dashboard page is a two column webpage with four placeholder gadgets to make it easy to get started creating an overview of information.
  • An Announcement page is a page which makes it easy for an individual or group to post chronological information like news, status updates, or notable events (see Blog).
  • A File Cabinet allows you to manage documents from your hard drive and organize them into folders.
  • List pages allow you to easily track lists of information. You can choose from a list of templates or configure your own custom columns. Items can be easily added, updated, and removed.
View Sites template gallery
Change theme
Page Settings
Embed custom header
Navigation - vertical or horizontal
Controlling access to Site
Comments / attachments
Embed Gadgets

While you don't have the same power of a desktop word processing application like Word, Google Sites does provide you enough opportunities to format your content in an appealing way.

The following represents some basic explanations for some of the options.


Format
The importance of this feature is that it sets title size for your article. While you can use font size and bold to achieve similar results, by using headers you can clear set a hierarchy in each page AND utilize the Table of Contents gadget found in the Insert menu.

Tables
Tables are a great way to organize or structure your content. The table tools are relatively basic and do not necessarily give you the advanced control that you might enjoy in Word. You cannot (right now) control the width of the individual cells.

Layout
You can divide your page into two columns with this option. This will help break up the text, especially when viewing on wide screens.

Insert
You can insert include a table of contents, images (from your browser or online), or a horizontal rule (just a line really) into your Site.  You can also embed a variety of other Google tools into your Site.

 Main Gadgets

Descriptions

To embed these Google tools, you must have a Google account.
  • Calender - Embed a class calendar.
  • Document, Presentation, and Spreadsheets - Easily add documents created in Google's Office - like online suite of productivity tools.
  • Picasa Web slideshow - Instead of adding just an image, why not a slideshow of images.  Upload photos to your Picasa account and embed an album of your choosing.
  • Spreadsheet form - Design a spreadsheet in Google Docs to collect data from students (or other sources), seamlessly embed the form into a page.
  • Video - While Google Video and YouTube are blocked at school, most students have access at home.  Additionally, teachers will be getting bypass codes to access select sites this school year.
Gadgets and More
  • Embed various elements from throughout your site.
  • More... Access Google's vast collection of third party gadgets (weather, games, etc.).  Use with caution, there are some choices that might not be educationally sound!


HTML Button
This option actually reveals the HTML code, only do this if you have an idea of what you are doing!


5 Ways to Use Google Sites in Schools
by Richard Bryne

1. As a wiki: Google Sites can be used as a wiki if you share your site with others and invite them to be editors. As a teacher you could start a site then add your students as owners or editors on the site. If you add them as owners they will be able to start new pages. If you add them as editors they will only be allowed to edit existing pages. You can also use the new page-level permissions option to allow students to only edit the pages that you grant them access to.

2. As a digital portfolio: Google Sites can be used by students to create digital portfolios featuring their best works and accomplishments. I would encourage high school students to develop a digital portfolio that they can share with university admissions officers. Teachers should also consider developing a digital portfolio of their best lesson plans, credentials, and references to include when they apply for teaching positions.

3. As a digital file cabinet: If you have PDFs, Word files, or other documents that you want your students to be able to easily download, consider using the File Cabinet option in Google Sites. By creating a File Cabinet page you provide a place for those files to be easily accessed. You might also consider putting up a File Cabinet page for forms like permission slips that parents need to access.

4. As a blog: Use the Announcements template to create a blog page within your Google Sites. You can update the blog or make the blog page collaborative and let your students contribute to a class blog.

5. As a website:
 I left the most obvious option for last. If you need to create a place where parents and students can come to find important information about your course(s) or your school, Google Sites provides all of the tools for that. Incorporate a blog element (see #4 above) for posting updates and use the rest of the pages to house information that doesn't change that often. You can also incorporate a file cabinet (see #3 above) to post forms for parents to download. And if you're using Google Calendar, you can easily add a calendar of events to any page in your Google Site.
Subpages (1): BLOG
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