Google Sites has been around for a long time and a few years ago Google Sites got a major update. Since then many more user-friendly features have been added to this fantastic web page-creation tool.
In a recent #Ditchbook Twitter chat educators shared their best tips for using Google sites in and out of the classroom along with tons of great tricks you might not have even heard about yet. Scroll down for 20 tips and tricks to help you and your students get the most out of Google Sites.
It can get messy to try to keep sharing resources with students during a whole unit of study. Packaging them in a site allows for easy updates and sharing of ideas.
A1. I used it to provide a whole unit with resources. Ss created projects based on directions on site. Since it’s easy to edit we could be fluid with directions when Ss had ideas. #ditchbook https://t.co/6zcWAIEdp0— Rayna Freedman (@rlfreedm) November 15, 2019
Google sites can be used to package large units like novel HyperDocs. All the links and resources they need to complete the work are all on the site.
Use subpages in Google Sites to package content for your students. The website link can be added to an assignment in Google Classroom for students to easily reference during their work.
A1: I love Google Classroom, but having multiple topics with multiple posts can flood the classwork section. I have found that using pages with subpages in a Google Site is a much cleaner and easier way to package content for students to navigate. #ditchbook— 𝙳𝚊𝚗 𝚂𝚝𝚒𝚝𝚣𝚎𝚕 (@mr_stitzel) November 15, 2019
Sites provides an easy way to house all of the tips and tutorials that users might want to reference while learning something new.
A1: I love creating Sites for our students when we have new initiatives or procedures. Our MTSS structure is a great example Ss were able to visit that site and receive updates and announcements on where to go, how the procedures were laid out, all in an easy format! #ditchbook— Evan Mosier (@emosier3) November 15, 2019
Digital escape rooms are a fun way to introduce, practice or review content and a Google Site provides the perfect "room" for all of your clues and locks. Learn all about how to create a digital escape room for your students in this post.
A1: I like to package escape rooms using Google Sites #ditchbook— Mandi Tolen (@MandiTolenEDU) November 15, 2019
Posting material on a class website gives students the opportunity to access material from home. Also a big plus for parents trying to help their students!
A2: Google Sites can be used by the students to look up answers to homework, if they are stuck or even help them to study/prepare for a quiz or even a test upcoming. #ditchbook— Joshua Otto (@The_Mr_Otto) November 15, 2019
Creating a useful website is a valuable skill. Have students create their own website to share information with classmates or club members.
A2: My scholars use it to build their portfolio for Applied Library Media Studies. The Friends of the Library club is using it as their platform to keep members informed. #DitchBook https://t.co/TETkjoqKM2— Kate Applebee (@K8Applebee) November 15, 2019
Give students the option to create their own site to demonstrate their learning after a lesson or within a unit.
A2: Students can use this as a choice to demonstrate their learning. The beauty of Sites is that since it's all drag and drop, Ss can easily embed their own content, videos from YouTube, or links to other resources. #ditchbook— Evan Mosier (@emosier3) November 15, 2019
You can use a URL or embed code to add to your website. Embedding an interactive Padlet allows your students to add content to the site and even comment on their classmate's work without being a contributor to the site.
We want to connect with our students and know how they are doing every day. But it can be difficult to check-in with every student in every one of our classes. Embedding a Google Form inside of your site makes it simple and easy to get started connecting with all of your students. Find an example Google Form check-in template here.
A3: I use a site as my "home base" in the classroom. During instruction, I navigate through all of my material and content through a site, so everything I need is accessible. I also embed a Form for students to "check in" at the board in the AM #ditchbook— Dylan Borkowski (@DylanBorkowski) November 15, 2019
The new Google Sites allows you to make a copy of a site. This is a useful feature if you want to share a site with someone to collaborate but don't want to lose your original site. Also great for making templates of site designs you use often.
Inside of your Google Site on the right hand menu select "Insert" then "Image Carousel" to upload and select the images you want to share. You can even resize the carousel frame to the size you want.
A3: Picture Carousel in Google Sites is a great way to share pictures in a concise, organized, and user friendly format. #DitchBook— Tom Sweeney (@trsweeney44) November 15, 2019
If you are the owner of the site and the images and embedded resources it can be hard to know which ones are shared and which ones are still private. Checking your site in an incognito window allows you to see what your students or families will see.
A3: Check it in an Incognito Window and try every thing! Has saved me from having frustrated scholars because I am able to fix sharing settings before they encounter blocked access. #DitchBook https://t.co/QbujRWkY2k— Kate Applebee (@K8Applebee) November 15, 2019
A button can look so much better than a simple hyperlink. Try it on a new Google site by clicking on "Insert" then scroll down to find the button option. From there you can add a name for your button and a URL or site page to link to.
A3: I love the button tool for links. Makes it look so much more streamlined. I like to curate resources into a site for students to use on research projects. Also great for creating staff resource pages too! #ditchbook— Andrea (Thurmes) Ibberson (@EdTechIbby) November 15, 2019
If you want to create the content just for yourself or if you are planning to release it later you can hide a page from navigation so that others can't see it even when it's published. Go to "Pages" then use the three dots next to the page name to choose "Hide from navigation".
Make your site even more personalized by adding a favicon. Just click on the three dots in the top edit menu and choose "add favicon". You can add your own image or search for one to use.
A3 #ditchbook— Sean Fahey (@SEANJFAHEY) November 15, 2019
I also like how you can add a logo to the site navigation bar and favicon to Google sites. It can really help give sites a personal and professional look.
A brand new feature added to Google Sites now allows you to insert collapsible text boxes. Check out this Google Blog post to learn more about this awesome new feature!
Check out this Google Sites tips and tricks presentation created by Raul Cortez. TONS of great stuff here!
A Google Site is a great way to showcase the work you have done as a professional educator. Whether your preparing to change positions or want to share your resources all in one place a Google Site provides a simple and free way to package it all.
A4 I like to collect all my professional "proof" of the work I do at school for work evals on a site. So simple. I also like to now house all my presentations I give at conferences or PDs. I can duplicate it and make it event specific in a snap too! #DitchBook pic.twitter.com/QUjmCDad8P— Michael Wesely (@TechWarriorKES) November 15, 2019
That pre-school meet-up group, your son's swim team, a book club are all fantastic groups that might be looking for a way to easily share information and resources. Wow them with you Google Sites know-how and help your group get organized.
A4: Uses for Google Sites beyond the classroom ...— Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) November 15, 2019
- Home base for clubs, activities, sports teams
- Create a parent portal with info, class photos, contact info
- Outreach from the front office with news, documents, info#DitchBook
Having trouble? Still unclear on how a Twitter chat works? Feel free to tweet to these #DitchBook ambassadors and they’ll help — Karly Moura @karlymoura, Sean Fahey @seanjfahey, Sandy Otto @sandyrotto, Rachel Marker @rachelmarker, Evan Mosier @emosier3, Mandi Tolen @TTmomTT, Craig Klement @craigklement, Tara Martin @taramartinedu, Krista Harmsworth @zonie71, Anne Kamper @annekamper, Rayna Freedman @rlfreedm, Lance McClard @drmcclard, Stephanie DeMichele @sdemichele or David Platt @herrplatt!
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