Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter

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Earlier this summer I started creating a workshop entitled “Using Sites for More than a Classroom Newsletter”.  While preparing for this workshop I realized the New Google Sites was more than the average website builder. When first starting to build with the New Google Sites I missed the flexibility of selecting my own fonts and embedding gadgets and etc… via html. Now I’m thankful for the new site builder! Once I started constructing the workshop prezo as a Google Site the potentials for using the new site builder dawned on me! I discovered the New Google Sites is more than the average website builder!

One of the first things I noticed was the share settings and the ability to add collaborators. Immediately I started exploring different projects based on collaboration. Using the new sites started to become a challenge for me to discover more exciting features and a variety of uses for the educational community. Yes! I did exactly this and discovered the New Google Sites was not only intuitive to use but a tool which offers a vast amount of usages. When one considers the integration of all the core Google for Education APPs along with the New Google Sites it delivers one powerful punch as an educational tool!

 Some Google Sites Ideas

  1. Share a Digital Break Out Edu Adventure with Students
    • Use critical thinking skills to solve the mystery
  2. Use to deliver daily objectives
    • Supports students with doing independent work
  3. Share a Community Ice Breaker
    • Strengthens communication
  4. Go Paperless Create an Anchor Chart Site
    • Provides students with 24/7 resources
  5. Student Created Collaborative Weekly or Monthly Newsletter
    • Supports collaboration, and communication
  6. Classroom Created Collaborative Notes
    • Created & Curated via Sites
    • Immediate scaffolding for students
      • Students understand other students explainations
    • Let students have fun with this!
      • Insert videos
      • Insert audio links
      • Share interactive websites
  7. Student Portfolios
    • Building Digital Resumes Practice
    • Reinforces Digital Citizenship Skills
  8. Share Infographic Projects
    • One page per student
      • Student builds info graphic by using sites
  9. Use as a Student built Wiki
    • Students share tech support
    • Share Math Problem Solving ideas
  10. Curate Student Artwork, Poetry and etc…
  11. and ?
    • Share your idea in the comment area
      • It just may be added to this list 😃

Teachers Helping Teachers

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Publishing Google Slides Great Ideas

Yes! You Can Embed Google Slides Into a Website!

Why would a teacher want to do this? Here are some practical reasons for embedding a Google Slide into a classroom website or blog.

  1. Share a Gallery of Student’s Art or Writings
  2. Provide an animated welcoming message
  3. Share a classroom presentation
  4. Provide step by step directions for a project
    • Yes! Some students actually do work from home
    • Provides extra support for the absent student
  5. Share upcoming events with students and their parents
  6. Let the community know about exciting events happening at your school
  7. Share video clips of the weeks classroom presentations
  8. Post a virtual Notebook the students can refer
    • Supports the students with doing assignments
    • Project support
    • Study tool for Assessments
  9. Share a slide deck of inspirational quotes
  10. Share a classroom newsletter created by the students
    • Supports a School to Home Connection
  11. Makes the website or blog a little more interesting to look at

Directions for Publishing a Slide to the Web

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Click here to make a copy for this Tutorial

Google Blogger in Classroom: Let Me Count the Ways…

Blogger is one of the overlooked features within the Google APP for Education (GAfE)  Accounts. I found when mentioning GAfE to other educators they immediately associate the account with Google Drive, GMAIL, Calendar, Docs, Slides, Forms and Sheets. However there are many more components then these. Today I’m going to focus on one of the overlooked and hardly mentioned components. This is using Google Blogger to create blogs.

Did you say how can creating a blog make a difference in education? Well let me count the ways….

Integrating Google Blogger for the Classroom

  1. Create a Classroom Newsletter to share with parents
    • Include the students as creators in this activity
    • Great school to home connection
  2. Host a student help blog for different content areas
    • Students can create tutorials to share math tips & tricks
    • Embed screencasts instead of writing
  3. Make a classroom gallery to showcase student projects!
    • Another great way to make a school to home connection!!!
    • Have students upload the images or videos
    • Let students be responsible for answering questions
      • That is pertaining to their own project
      • Make the blog active as possible
  4. Do you students research famous people, inventors or ?
    • Let them use a blog for their presentation
    • Students transform into the biographical character
    • Student introduces them self as the character
    • Other students ask questions
      • Student answer questions based on their research
    • Blog can remain private
      • Students can use their school logon
      • Restrict blog invites to classroom community
  5. Replace a teachers website with a blog
    • Easy to maintain
    • All posts are archived in date order
    • Embed worksheets
    • Add a calendar
    • Insert video
  6. Students can use a blog as a virtual binder
    • Provides organization

These are just a few ideas for getting started using blogger in the classroom!

Can You Think of More Ways for Using Blogger???

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Google Chrome URL Shortener

As part of my Teaching Assistant position I push into classrooms to take supplemental notes. This year I’m using a Google slide Notebook which I share with my Teacher Partners. I have a tendency to link out to websites or Google Docs to support the notes taken. Sometimes these weblink address can be very long. I find it is quick and easy to use the goo.gl URL Shortener Chrome extension to shorten website urls.

The goo.gl URL Shortener also offers a few other benefits. One can track data details for website shared. Instead of creating a weblink the user can share a QR code. Chrome tools like this make life quick and easier.

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Google Slide as an Alternative for a Teachers Website…

Above is a “No Thrills” quick sample which I literally slapped together. It seems building a classroom website has become a popular way with teachers to integrate technology. Why not make the home school connection by using a Google Slide Presentation published to the web?

What are the benefits?

  1. Easy to use
  2. Embeds into an already established website
  3. Share as a public link & it is viewed by the world
  4. Automatically updates when you make a change
  5. Ability to move slides around
    1. Important announcements can be moved to the front
  6. Can be creative or just “Plain Jane” with the look of the presentation
  7. Can link out to Google Forms to collect information
    1. Example: Who can help with book fair
  8. Spreadsheets can be linked for signup sheets
    1. Example: Parent/Teacher Conference Day Sign up
  9. Easier to maintain than a website
  10. Can be a timesaver

I can easily go on and on with this list!

What ideas can you come up with? Please share in the comment area…