Google Sites is a Web page-creation tool offered in the G Suite for Education productivity suite. It is the only web publishing tool in LPS available to students. The tool is ideal for creating student portfolios, as Sites can include file attachments, information from other Google applications (like Google Docs), as well as free-form content. They also allow for collaboration. These features also make it attractive for use as a “building site,” staff facing pages (think “intranet”) used to organize all of the content used by a building with staff members. This is not to be confused with the public facing school web site. Google Sites should not replace Synergy LMS pages as a teacher’s primary web site.
Google plans to have Classic and New Sites tools both available during a transition process through 2018. Visiting sites.google.com and logging in with your LPS Google credentials will allow you to access both the classic and new Sites. Clicking the “Create” button from this page still accesses the classic sites, and all of your previously-created sites can still be accessed from this page.
If you’re looking to create a brand new Site, we’d recommend using the “New Sites” tool, as you won’t need to do anything to migrate information, and you won’t risk needing to redo any work down the road.
We will provide you information on the migration tool as soon as it is released to LPS by Google. Please take the information below from Google into consideration before you create, edit, or modify any new or existing sites.
“We encourage organizations to start creating sites using the new Sites, which will add even more features and options in the near future. In the meantime, you can continue using classic Sites to create, edit, and view sites. Migration tools to transition your classic sites will be released in 2017. Both classic and new Sites will continue to be supported during this time. Timelines and instructions regarding the gradual depreciation of classic Sites will be released in 2018. The specific depreciation date will be announced at least one year in advance.
Until the recommended migration tools are released, you can migrate an existing classic site using the following methods:
- Rebuild your site using new Sites.
– Copy and paste content from classic Sites to new Sites.
– Add a banner to your classic site redirecting people to the new site URL.”
Google sites, like other products in the G Suite, can be set to a variety of sharing/viewing options, which can make things a bit confusing. The chart at right may help with understanding.
Sharing within a G Suite tool such as Google Sites allows those users with granted access the ability to edit the Site. This means they can edit, add, or remove content without the owner’s approval. Any LPS user can share sites with other users, but the permissions level will remain tied to the person who created it.
To share, click on the + (person) button and add users. This is the same behavior used when sharing a Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, etc.
An important option to consider while sharing is the checkbox which states, “Prevent editors from publishing, changing access and adding new people.” This becomes extremely important on any Site created by a staff member for student use, because any Site created by a staff member can be published outside of LPS. Checking this box ensures students can’t publish work without teacher consent. We highly recommend checking this box whenever you have students working in Google Sites that you (a teacher) created. For more on this topic look at the bottom of this page under “Publishing Student Work.”
Publishing within the New Sites provides some new options for teachers and students.
-Students can now create & publish to all of LPS with no teacher involvement, but are unable to publish outside of LPS. Even if a student were to transfer ownership of their Site to a teacher, since the Site was created by a student, the teacher will not have access to publish the work outside of LPS.
-Staff members have the ability to publish sites to LPS or to the outside world. This is an important distinction, since in the Classic version, publishing outside of LPS was not a possibility for any user.
To publish, click on the blue “Publish” button. Then:
With this new workflow, we now have opportunities to collaborate with students and teachers, and potentially publish the work out to families and far beyond! This type of sharing can make student work feel more “real” at times, and is an instructional strategy that addresses numerous ISTE Standards for Students. However, teachers should go out of their way to ensure it is done safely and thoughtfully. Before doing so, be sure that you have considered the following important items:
At this time, Google Sites does not work with Google Classroom. This means you will need to use some elbow grease to set up a scenario in which students can edit, but not publish content to the internet on their own. One basic workflow that might accomplish this:
Published December 14, 2016