Type of technology: Website
SAMR Model Rating: Substitution
Grade level: All
Subject area: All
What’s the best thing about having a Google Sites?
Students and parents have access to the classroom resources, wherever and whenever they want it.
It’s accessible on multiple platforms.
It works with all things Google.
I already have access to it, no need to sign up for a new account.
I love stuff that is free.
I set up this page a couple years ago and it is still there. I just refer kids to it so I’m not adding any work. My curriculum is online.
As an elementary school teacher, I am often investing my own money to add some, “Wow” to 4th grade. When I first started teaching, 17 years ago, I put together a webpage my district was hosting. It made it easy to direct students to valid websites for readings and research. So I decided to pay. Suffice it to say, GoDaddy or iPage made a lot of money off me. Both were user-friendly and beautiful. By the end, I was paying over $200 for two years of hosting and another $40 per month to maintain the sheer quantity of pages and security. I was storing for just one website. You can call me crazy… I don’t mind. It was.
I started a Google Website and re-directed my old name 4thgrade.us to it. The domain name is fairly cheap when you know what to pay. Your Elementary Tech TOSA, Dave Lovejoy, has already set up a really nice template that you can use on your header page. That’s where I started, just adding or deleting buttons I don’t use in my class. It’s a smart place where students can go to find resources I use year after year. As for your name, just use a URL Shortener like TinyURL, goo.gle, or Bitly and have kids bookmark it.
- Parents: Use it at the beginning of the year to guide your back to school night then if parents have questions about policies in your classroom, refer them there. You can refer parents there for resources to help kids there.
- Instead of making copies of specific instructions on choice projects, just list all of your parameters for kids there. Kids always know where to go if they get stuck.
- Parents and students It’s accessible on multiple platforms.
One of the hundreds of little things I love about Google Sites is the pages don’t go away, even when the district changes your name. Yes, it’s an investment of your time but you’ll have the links and photos in sickness and in health, through good times and in bad. It’s already set up year after year. You just need to scroll through it and update links as necessary. It works like many things Google and it’s ready to go at all times.
Now, you may think that web pages are really a thing of the past in teaching thanks to class management systems like NEO, Blackboard, iTunes U, Handouts, and Google classroom. These management systems have their place but they don’t do what your own website does.
- students have to wait for you to post,
- each year, you have to transfer the assignments and resources to your new class,
- parents don’t always know how to access those systems, and just avoid getting online.
So just hop on and use one of the thousands of beautiful templates to get started.