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Using the New Google Sites

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December 1, 2016

I hope everyone’s December is off to a great start! I’m ready for Christmas, and I’m sure many of you are too, but the good news is we already received a great gift from Google: new Google Sites!

If you didn’t know, Google has a tool called Google Sites that allows you to build websites without any technical knowledge or having to write any code. The initial idea was great, but the downside was that the tools were a little cumbersome, and the sites didn’t work great on mobile devices.

Many schools that use Google Suite for Education have teachers who have used the tool to build classroom websites. Some schools have even been using it for their school websites.

Google just released a new version of Google Sites, and it is nothing short of amazing! The new platform has some helpful new features that I wanted to highlight. Here are the details from Google:


Sites are as easy to create as a Google doc

It’s now easier than ever to create a site and add text, links, images and more with a quick cut and paste, or simply drag and drop to rearrange and resize elements.

Sites are integrated with your favorite apps

Google Sites are now built to work with your favorite Google apps, so you can insert content from the tools you use most. It’s easy to embed a schedule from Google Calendar, a video clip from Google Drive or a location from Google Maps. You can also insert content from Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms, and a live version will be presented within the site.


Sites can be built together

The new Sites is the first truly collaborative tool for building team and project sites. Using the same technology as Google Docs, the new Sites brings real-time, multi-user coauthoring, so the whole team can add and update a project site without worrying about conflicts or locked pages.

Sites are beautiful and functional on any screen

The new Sites also includes themes and layouts designed to intelligently scale and flex to any screen size, so they look great when you access them on a 30-inch monitor at your desk or on your smartphone during your commute. An integrated preview mode lets you see what your site will look like on a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone while you’re editing, so you can build the most useful team and project sites.

The breakdown

The good news is that if your teachers are using Google Sites to build websites, then it’s about to get a lot better for them! Their sites will look better, AND they will be easier for parents to access since they’re mobile friendly.

It also just became a whole lot easier for your schools and teachers to build websites for events and clubs that your district can be proud of!

If you need any help getting started with the new Google Sites, feel free to reach out to me--I’d be glad to help!

About the Author

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Ben Parker

Director, Technology

Ben serves as Director of Technology for the OPSRC. In this role, he will provide support to schools on technical issues and training on pressing technology topics. Ben will assist partner schools with trainings, comprehensive technology plans, e-Rate applications, technology purchasing consultation, and other school and district technology decisions.

Prior to working with OPSRC, Ben was the Director of Technology for the Locust Grove Public School District. Ben implemented a 1:1 tablet program in Locust Grove that saw 6th-12th graders go paperless in the classroom.

In his free time, Ben likes to read and play the drums.

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