Sunday, April 6, 2014

Behind the Scenes with Google Sites

Student's in Mrs. Brown's 8th grade Language Arts class at the William Davies Middle School created a 'practice' website using Google Sites.  They will be using Google Sites to portray their anti-bullying project.

I explained to the students that whenever you create a Google site, it is live and that Google houses the site on their server.  However, for our purposes, the 'practice' website was not promoted anywhere except in our class, therefore, the public would not be aware of it.

To start the lesson, I had them sign into their Google accounts and go to the Sites app in the apps launcher.  I explained that if they do not see the 'Sites' link in the list, they can type to access the app or go to 'even more options' to go to the next page in the apps launcher.

First, they created a website, by selecting a blank template, assigned a name and selected a theme. I wanted them to create a new website using a blank template because there is more flexibility then using one with a template.

Once it was created, I modeled many features of Google Sites such as:
  • Add a page to the website
  • Edit a page on the website
  • Insert an image on a page
    • image toolbar
  • Insert a link with a text description on a page
    • link toolbar
  • Insert an object from their Google Drive
  • Format text on a page
  • Add/Delete a page to the navigation
  • Re-order pages on the navigation
  • Edit the navigation type
  • Insert a custom logo into the website header
  • Modify the page settings
Finally, students were introduced to a new feature of creating different types of webpages, such as announcements, lists, and file cabinet pages. They were not aware of the different type of page templates.  I also challenged them to 'think out of the box' by creating animations by embedding a Google Presentation, using Google Hangout to create an interview, and using YouTube to create a video.  

When the students are done with their project, I will write a follow up post.  I am looking forward to see their websites.

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