Recently, I realised just before a lesson that my printing cap had been reached. I thus found myself in a dilemma: The lesson I had planned required students to have access to extracts from Anne Frank’s diary. I could have projected the extracts onto the board but I wanted students to read them at their leisure; to examine and to highlight. One projection onto the board simply wouldn’t work.
In a lucky flash of memory, I remembered Google Sites. Although we run on an Office 365 platform at my school, I have been sneaking Google Tools into the classroom as often as possible as Office doesn’t always get the job done.
Literally in the space of 15 minutes (I only had one break time to solve my problem), I created a basic Google Site to upload all the necessary resources on to. I also embedded the video starter into the site so I wouldn’t have to flick between tabs
I want to stress here that the site I made is very basic and has numerous errors that even a non tech- savvy eye could pick up. But it fulfilled my need perfectly and even better, I added a few more resources to the site that I could never have printed. For example, I found an online copy of Anne Frank’s Diary that is free to use for educational purposes. Bam, now interested students can read her diary in their own time, if they want to.
Check out the site I created (again, in less than 15 minutes) here
Pros of Using Google Sites
- It’s User Friendly: Google Sites has a format that is very self explanatory. Naturally, being Google, there are also a number of offers of help that pop up when you are new to using the app.
- It saves paper! Although I strongly feel there are times when a physical piece of paper and a highlighter are needed, there are many tasks and resources that no longer need to be printed. The parts of this lesson than that I wanted students to have written in their books, I asked them to write down in summary form – thereby giving them a chance to practise some writing skills!
- You give students access to information they can peruse in their own time. The internet is every where…
- You can link to video or audio resources to supplement or help EAL or SEN students understand the text.
How to Create a Google Site
- Go to https://www.sites.google.com/new
- Click on the large red ‘+’ sign in the bottom right hand corner – ‘Create’
- This will take you to a ‘blank slate’ page with some basic formatting in place. Give your page a name and title.
- Use the ‘Insert’ and ‘Theme’ tabs on the right hand side to add images, text, videos and adjust the look of your Home Page.
- Use the ‘Pages’ tab on the right hand side to add additional pages