Websites In Class

Websites are great places to collect and display student work. I have used them in Math so that student can document their learning through videos, photos, and examples. In addition to documenting their progress, when students are unsure of a concept they can refer to another student’s page for clarification.

More recently, I have used them to document learning in Social Science. Earlier in the year, we were learning about Pre-Columbian Settlements. Students documented their learning on Google Maps then placed them on a website.

webpage-1The beauty of doing this is that it allows for easier sharing with the outside world. It has been said, and is most certainly true, that when students know the public will see it they up their game. When my students think it’s just for me, they give me ‘okay’ work. It’s like pulling teeth to get top notch work from them. However, when I say that it will go on a website that will be shared on Twitter and Facebook, they are much more careful and meticulous in their work. Adding to that, I present. I tell them what I am presenting and when. Okay, sometimes I ‘say’ I’m presenting on a topic even when I’m not. I want the best work from them, I have no shame.

Here’s another example from my students. We recently started learning the reasons for the Revolutionary War. There are various tasks that they need to accomplish. Those final products are placed on a shared website.

webpage-2I have used this method of documentation and sharing in the classroom for over four years. I have never had a student abuse their editing rights. On the old Google Sites, I could give page level permissions for editing but never did. All students have always had full rights on the site. However, this year I have a student who has been known to maliciously edit shared documents (and when caught asks what ‘Revision History’ proves). So said student does not have editing rights. While this makes me sad and I wish I could have gotten through to the student that such behavior is inappropriate, I have decided to exclude him/her from editing until he/she proves themselves to be trustworthy. I figure once in four-plus years is a pretty good record.

Two of my favorite websites were student driven. One was for a ‘business’ where the students created keychains and bracelets to raise money for St. Jude Hospital. They had photos and order forms! The other was a tech tutorial website. A group of girls calling themselves The Techie Chicks created one tech tutorial each week during Genius Hour.

New Google Sites Part 11: Preview, Share, Publish

Finally, you have your site ready to launch, but first, you want to make sure it looks great to your viewer. Not a problem. Google allows you to preview your site. Check out what viewers with large screens, tablets, and even phones will see. Unlike the old Google Sites where there could be more than one owner, the New Google Sites allows for only one owner, but transfering ownership is still a snap!

New Google Sites Part 10: Components

Wowwy, Wow, Wow! I love Google! I know that Part 10 is coming before Part 9 (scheduled to post later). However, when I was preparing the original Part 10 (Preview, Share, Publish – now Part 11), I noticed a new feature: Components. Right now there is just a divider bar, but I suspect that Google will add more Components later. I was so excited I HAD to make Components Part 10!

New Google Sites Part 2: Header

New Google Sites helps take the guess work out of creating a custom header. There are several options to create just the right header for your site. Google has some preset headers, allows you to search free to use images, and even gives the option to upload your own image. And the process is so easy!