by Cait Ferguson
This article will provide a quick "how-to" for getting started with Google Sites, and recommendations of how this tool can be used in your classroom.
To start, if you prefer to learn through video, check out the TeacherCast beginner's tutorial:
To read more about Google Sites, a step-by-step "Get Started with Sites" is provided through the G Suite Learning Center. The full article will walk you through all of the steps to create a site, as well as tips on how to customize and personalize the site to your vision.
Creating a site only take a few minutes; for an abbreviated "how-to" click through the steps below.
dNow that you know how to create a site, here are few ideas for using Google Sites in your classroom:
1. Have students demonstrate their learning through creating a site
Instead of an essay, consider Google Sites for your student's next final project. Students will gain experience with a valuable tool and demonstrate their learning in a new way. Laying out information in a website format, deciding what pages to create and what content to add, encourages students to think critically about what is important about their learning, and how that information is best communicated to a wider audience. Student will still use skills needed for essay writing, like outlining and revision, with Sites providing an additional visual element that can enhance creativity.
2. Create a "class"or "teacher" site to build community and centralize information
Google Sites can be used to create your own teacher or community website with important info unique to your classroom and students. The type of content on the site can be completely personalized to your class, as well as the contributors. You can run the site yourself, or run it as a community, having your students contribute relevant thoughts, pictures, and possibly encouragement for their peers.
3. Discuss the reliability of content found on "Sites" when conducting research
With the benefit of creating a personalized website within minutes comes the disadvantage of...creating a personalized website within minutes. Using Sites can provide a great opportunity to discuss the reliability of internet content, including a potential debate on whether "home-made" websites are more or less reliable than content produced by organizations or corporations. Within this discussion, teachers can highlight useful vetting strategies, like checking for corroboration and sourcing.
Do you use Sites in your classroom? Do you have an idea for using this tool with your students in the future? Please share in the comment section below!