Sunday, February 5, 2017

Show Off Any Project Using Google Sites

**A newer version of this post can be found by clicking here.

Regular readers and anyone in my training sessions has heard me repeat it. "Show off the learning!"

There are lots of ways to show our best work, but doing it online is certainly one of the best. In my district, many teachers assign a lot of real world products rather than digital ones. That's great, but when I talk about sharing work online, they feel they have no options (or they happily think they're off the hook!).

This week I created a short document and video tutorial to give them one easy way to show any product digitally. It makes use of the new Google Sites, which I absolutely love. 

Google Sites doesn't have a ton of options, which means students won't lose time finding just the right font and background image. 

So imagine students made a physical "something" in class. You could give the students these directions and they'd create a web page that shows pictures or video along with text, showing off what they made and learned. 

Here is the full video tutorial:

And here is the single page of steps that you'd give the students. Notice most of the steps link to the exact place in my video tutorial. That way they don't have watch everything if they're stuck on only one part.

Some things to note:
  • You must tell them what you expect to see on the site. My steps and tutorial only show the how. It directs them to you for the what.
  • Students would need to take pictures or video of their project, then upload those to Google Drive first. I didn't show that in this tutorial, but it's very easy if they have the Google Drive app at their phones. I consider this to be a survival skill in today's world. I'm working on making a good video to show this process.
  • You'll see in the video that images don't always work like they should. I show a workaround if your students experience that problem.
  • Some students forget to do the sharing step (labeled as #1 on my list). If that happens, you won't be able to see their pictures or video when you look at the site. 
  • Step #7 is another common pitfall. Students often will send the link to their side of the website instead of the published version. It is clearly shown in the video, but they need to pay attention.
  • I didn't address adding multiple pages in my steps, but it is very intuitive to add a new page. This could be great for organizing information about a larger project.
  • Note that my final step tells them to turn it in through Classroom. If you use a different process, you'll need to modify that.

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