Google Sites is the newest piece of the Google Productivity Suite of applications. The underpinnings of Google Sites comes from JotSpot, a wiki tool which Google purchased approximately 18 months ago. Since that time, the engineers at Google have been integrating the rest of the Google applications to work with Google Sites.
When you create a site, you need to give it a Name, a URL and a theme.
Each page in a Google Site must be in one of five different categories: Web Page, Dashboard, Announcement, File Cabinet or List.
- Web Page: Standard Web like page, similar to Google Pages, with a WYSIWYG editor and a few page lay out options.
- Dashboard: Pre-designed pages, with templates, where you can insert any Google Gadget that is available. This is helpful for student pages, where they can insert the most useful gadgets for their personal pages. Students can also create their own Google Gadgets to add into their site.
- Announcements: Announcement pages function much like a blog, where pages are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent announcement on top. These pages can be used as personal blogs or journal entries, to list homework assignments or to document the progress on a group project. Each entry also has the ability to comment, so a complete threaded discussion can be documented from a single announcement. As with all other pages within a Google Site, the owner of the page can make it 100% public or share only with those people they wish to have access to it.
- File Cabinet: File Cabinet pages allow users to create their own online file cabinet, with content from their own files or files from the Internet, by pasting the URL into the editor. You can also add folders to the file cabinet to create easier access to files for a particular course or unit of a course.
- List Pages: The name really doesn't tell everything a list page can do. It really is a way to collect data from multiple users. There are a few templates for specific types of lists, or you can create your own, using the following types of fields: Check Box, Date, Drop Down, Text or URL. List Pages are a nifty way to collect data and make it accessible to a group of people.
In the 'More Actions' tab, which is visible to the owner or collaborators of a particular page, you can change the 'properties' of the page. You can subscribe to the page settings, change the page settings, print the page, move the page to another place in the site, delete the page, share the site with others, or view the site map. There is also an 'Advanced Settings' link at the bottom, which allows you to make the site globally significant.
Extras With Google Sites:
Activity: Create a site for your classroom and include three types of pages to provide information for your class. The site should be functional enough to support different activities in your classroom. This site should be the container for all of the other activities we have completed today. Share the site with the lead learner, so we can create a list of everyone's sites.