Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Presenting to Who? A Look at Google Sites

As technology continues to become a driving force in today’s workforce and society, students can see the benefits of engaging in activities that may help to shape their future. I was introduced to Google Apps for Education around 2 years ago and have enjoyed using them. Once I began to grasp the impact technology had on my students’ learning, I decided to get my Google Educator Certificate. I was introduced to several different tools, however, I was most excited about Google Sites. When the opportunity arose for students to make an independent presentation, I knew I wanted to give Sites a shot!

When I first approached my grade 4/5 students about creating a website with google, they immediately thought, “This is like Google Slides 2.0 because we get to present our information to everyone!”

With the amount of enthusiasm in the class, I knew creating a site was the next step in their technological journey.

I felt like this new venture would work best through scaffolding of tasks. After peaking their interest with a model site I made in a few minutes, the students were eager to find information on a Canadian province or territory for their own site. Through Google Classroom I pushed out a graphic organizer which would break down the information they needed for each page of their website. Once the Graphic organizers were complete, we were ready to begin.

Once they were in, we took a few minutes to look over the themes that could be chosen and the fonts that were available. Creating text boxes, uploading images from a Chromebook or file from Google Drive was only a double-click away. We had copied and pasted our opening information into the bottom of the home page and were ready to select the Pages tab on the top right-hand side to create a new web page and move forward.

Facilitating this process was a fantastic experience and, before we had even finished, students were showing me how they chose to create sites for projects in other classes and the YouTube video’s they chose to embed. Later, viewing each other's pages and providing feedback was quite useful in the learning process as well.

Google has made creating a website very user friendly and information on how to create a basic site is quite easily accessible. Just a quick YouTube search of Google Sites 2017 could have your class making their very own websites in no time at all!

Mike Taraborrelli
Grade 4/5 Teacher
Ontario, Canada
Google Certified Educator: Level 1
Twitter: @mtaraborrelli17

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