How I Use It
I use this app to create a classroom website with embedded calendars for parents and enrichment links for students, as well as copies of my classroom policies, procedures, and syllabus.
Sites contains widgets that allow embedding of Google Calendars and Google Docs seamlessly.
I am also planning to use it in my seventh grade ELA class for students to create websites as an expository writing medium.They will be creating websites that teach teenagers how to live a healthy lifestyle after doing guided and independent research. I plan to use it in conjunction with the Sitemaestro add on in Google Sheets to create a copy of template for students to create their research presentations. Sites allows publishing in a way that student work can be shared securely within the school domain with no public access. Students will work collaboratively in groups to present materials embedding pictures, videos and hyperlinks in order to achieve the Common Core ELA standards.
Google Sites is a great way for students to practice digital writing and publishing as well as for the teacher to communicate with parents and the school community. It contains controls on permissions about who can see the information that students are posting which is a big benefit for students who are younger.
It takes time for the students to learn how to work with the program ,but as it is a creation tool, it can be used cross-curricularly so the investment of time can reap huge gains. Creating a layout can be a bit tricky for students. This can be mitigated by using Sitemaestro which allows the teacher to create a template for the students, so that they can focus on content instead of getting their text boxes the correct size. It also allows teachers to own and control the product students produce which makes management much easier.