Lesson Spotlight: Google Sites

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Creating a Google Site from Scratch

"Good design is good business." ~Thomas J. Watson

Do you want to learn how to create a Google Website for your class or have your students learn how to develop and design websites? Do you want a unit that provides great depth and details for web design and development so students can create sites for a variety of topics that incorporate multimedia such as sound and video? You can empower your students by giving them the in-depth skills necessary to make a Google Site from scratch. This unit will give students a variety of digital skills, including web design. There is a series of easy to follow videos that demonstrate how to make a Google Site on a hypothetical zoo. Students can transfer that knowledge to create whatever kind of site they want. The unit demonstrates how to create a hypothetical zoo. They can easily make a site on whatever topic interests them. Many of my students have completed sites on cafes, restaurants, interior design, a bed and breakfast business, dance, photography, restaurants, cruises, amusement parks, etc.

Once students get the in depth tools on how to make an attractive site using Google, they can become creators of a variety of online content. I have been making sites since 2002, which has given me the understanding of what makes a good site. Teachers can also use these videos to make a site of their choice, which could involve a classroom site. I usually end up sitting down with students and try and find out what they are passionate about and then we brainstorm possible sites they can create. Some have created a baseball or football hall of fame. Those who love shoes, create a website on shoes. They could take it a step further and use their image editing skills to create their own customized shoes.

Students will be able to understand more about copyright friendly content so that they can respect intellectual property and avoid getting into trouble if they use content that isn’t copyright friendly if they are trying to profit off their content. I share a story about a former teacher who used an image on his site that was not copyright friendly and he was sued $300. I would imagine it could be worse. As our students venture off and become creators, they will want their content to be protected by copyright laws. With that said, students need to be taught about intellectual property early on if we want them to be students of integrity and principled citizens.

The skills they learn from this unit will give them a greater understanding of how to use Google Drive to help them store and share information. In this unit, they upload images, sound and video to a folder in Google Drive that gets them a special link to share on their site. Understanding how to navigate Google Drive will give them a variety of skills that can assist them in school and life. Students come back from high school and thank me for the skills they learned in my class and how they use them for a variety of classes.

Skills gained by this unit

  • Improve design skills

  • Become more tech savvy

  • Empower students

  • Tap into student interests

  • Respect copyright laws

  • Utilize Google Drive

  • Become more organized

After completing my lessons with your students, I would love your feedback on any of my units. Fill out the survey and I will randomly draw names for another free digital lesson at the end of each month. I encourage any educator who uses my resources to reach out to me if they have issues. I plan on dedicating my time to helping teachers to make their lives easier. I know how hard it is to be a teacher. We have so many hats to fill and teaching is only part of a teacher's job. I think back on my first years of teaching and am amazed how much technology has changed. I have spent a great deal of my free time to become more proficient with tech integration in the classroom. I have continued to modify my lessons to maximize the learning experience of my students. I find it challenging and very exciting. You can see student comments by visiting this link.

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