20 Google Sites tips and tricks

#DitchBook Twitter chat

#DitchBook Twitter chat | Friday, November 15, 2019

20 Google Sites tips and tricks

20 Google Sites tips and tricks (
20 Google Sites tips and tricks (

Google Sites provide us and our students with the ability to create beautiful web pages. There are so many other ways to use this tool. Here are 20 tips and tricks you might be surprised to know!

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.

Using Google Sites in the classroom

1. Provide a whole unit with resources.

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.

2. Package your HyperDocs.

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.

3. Use Google Sites to supplement Google Classroom.

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.

4. Teach students (and staff) about new tools or procedures.

Sites provides an easy way to house all of the tips and tutorials that users might want to reference while learning something new.

5. Get gamified with digital escape rooms.

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.

6. Give students access to school from home.

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!

7. Have students create sites for classmates.

Creating a useful website is a valuable skill. Have students create their own website to share information with classmates or club members.

8. Show what you know with Google Sites.

Give students the option to create their own site to demonstrate their learning after a lesson or within a unit.

9. Make your site interactive with the embed feature. 

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.

10. Use a Google Form inside a site for easy access to a daily check in.

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.

Tips and tricks for using Google Sites

11. Make a copy of a site.

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.

12. Share pictures easily with image carousel.

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.

13. Use an incognito window to test your settings

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.

14. Look more professional with the button tool.

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.

15. Show only the content you want by hiding. 

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".

16. Add a favicon!

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.

17. Create a Google Slides template.

On episode 83 of the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast Joe Marquez shows us his hack for creating a template in Google Sites. Listen to the episode below!

18. Insert collapsible text boxes. 

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!

Bonus! A Site full of Sites tips and tricks!

Check out this Google Sites tips and tricks presentation created by Raul Cortez. TONS of great stuff here!

Taking Google Sites beyond the classroom

19. House all of your professional resources in one place.

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.

20. Take your sites skills out into the world!

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.

Want to get in on the next #DitchBook Twitter chat?

Having trouble? Still unclear on how a Twitter chat works? Feel free to tweet to these #DitchBook ambassadors and they’ll help — Karly Moura @karlymouraSean Fahey @seanjfaheySandy Otto @sandyrottoRachel Marker @rachelmarkerEvan Mosier @emosier3Mandi Tolen @TTmomTTCraig Klement @craigklementTara Martin @taramartineduKrista Harmsworth @zonie71Anne Kamper @annekamperRayna Freedman @rlfreedmLance McClard @drmcclardStephanie DeMichele @sdemichele or David Platt @herrplatt! 

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