Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Google Sites for Schools

Google Sites is a great option for schools to design websites for classrooms, activities, sports, student projects, portfolios, or entire districts. These are many benefits to using Google Sites:

  • All web-based - edit from any device with Internet access.
  • Easy but powerful - Quickly set up a basic website, or design a very complex site.
  • Google integration - insert docs, forms, presentations, spreadsheets, images, videos, maps, and more.
  • Multiple sites - create as many sites as you wish.
  • Storage - 100GB for your domain. However you can also link in files from Drive and other services to avoid reaching this limit.
  • Public or private - make certain pages public or private, and choose who is allowed to see the private pages. Great for content that should only be accessed by staff or specific students.
  • Collaboration - Share edit rights with others, so other people can help edit and add to the site. Can be done on a per-page level to share edit rights with just certain people and for just certain pages on your site.

Because Google Sites is such a powerful web design tool, it can take a while to investigate all the options and master each of the features. To help with this I have been doing a series of one-hour webinars on using Google Sites for Schools. I now have three hours of video training available covering basic to advanced Google Sites use.

See below for each of the three recorded webinars, along with a brief outline of what each training covers. You will also find my detailed 26-page help guide on creating a Google Site for your classroom.


Video Training - Session #1



Direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_faGpAN_OSU

Topics covered:
  • Benefits of Google Sites
  • Creating a Site
  • Changing the theme
  • Editing the welcome page (text, images, links)
  • Adding another page (Calendar)
  • Sharing the Site

Video Training - Session #2



Direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UXmceNbnFI

Topics covered:
  • Creating additional pages
  • Web page (inserting images, videos, slideshows, non-Google files)
  • Forms and Doc page
  • Announcement page
  • List page
  • Photo gallery page

Video Training - Session #3


Direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIm6NKxlPNU

Topics covered:
  • Navigation (sidebar, horizontal navigation)
  • Site layout and header
  • Page-level permissions
  • Duplicating and deleting pages

Help Guide

Below is a link to my detailed 26-page help guide on creating a classroom website with Google Sites:





9 comments:

  1. Great resource! How best do you make a Google Site work well on a 'mobile' platform for users? I've been struggling. I know there is the checkbox in the GENERAL settings area to optimize for Mobile, but the little 'menu' button for the horizontal bar at top isn't very intuitive. Also struggling when I put a banner at top of a GSite in the "header" area and on Mobile, the banner gets severely cut off and does not resize correctly. I have tried putting the banner inside the 'home' page instead. Any good tips related to that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cut the banner in 2. Put the title png with a transparent background in the site layout, and put the banner image in the page background aligned top and right with no repeat. When you resize the page the title will stay left and the banner will slide in behind it. Not a perfect solution but not bad.

      Delete
    2. Cut the banner in 2. Put the title png with a transparent background in the site layout, and put the banner image in the page background aligned top and right with no repeat. When you resize the page the title will stay left and the banner will slide in behind it. Not a perfect solution but not bad.

      Delete
  2. I agree with CHad - great resource and thanks for sharing. We are planning on moving our school site to Google Sites but was holding off due to rumored update to the platform. Any one have any ideas of when it's coming?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually Google waits until I just finish updating all my help guides and videos, and then changes everything, so since I just finished three hours of video PD on Sites they will probably change it tomorrow. (I would love for some updates, but no, I have not heard anything about it.)

      Delete
  3. Google plays a major role in education and it serves both students and teachers. It saves time and money for all educators. Thanks a million google. I hope I can work for google to help people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much Eric, great job. How do you manage available gadgets in your district domain? Do you have a list of gadgets that you whitelist? If so I'd love to see it.

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