Versatile technology tools effectively implemented in a classroom have never been more important in the era of Distance Learning. Google has made an easy to use app, Google Sites, for users to construct a website that can simply integrate various Google tools from docs to forms, and even Youtube videos.
Why make a Google Site? As educators progress further and further into a classroom that is merged with digital and remote tools, it is imperative that we construct a digital classroom in which students can easily navigate through as if they were in the traditional “brick and mortar” classroom. Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Google Classroom is a great tool for teachers to use to push assignments and facilitate discussions, however organization and aesthetics of the layout are severely limited. A website is a useful resource for students to consistently use in an intuitive way that the teacher intends, acting as a launch-point for lessons. Screencasts, hyperdocs, Slides, and Forms… all is easily incorporated and formatted within Google Sites. Do you co-teach or want to make a grade level/content team site? Real-time collaboration is again available for teamwork to make the dream work!
As a high school mathematics teacher, I have made a Google Site, titled Schwarberg Math, to host class calendars and screencasts of me teaching a condensed, flipped version of my lessons. This is beneficial for my students as they can view lessons on their own time, at their own pace, as many times as they want. Students who are absent due to illness or athletics can easily access the content so they do not enter class the following day missing a key building block in learning. Students who struggle and over-achieve will even preview lessons so they are prepared as they enter the classroom. The website also allows me to provide links to frequently used resources and available information on how students can contact me.
If you are interested in learning more about Google Sites, feel free to view my Google Sites Professional Development Site, containing step-by-step slides, video walk-through, and examples of how to use it in various programs, even outside of the classroom.
As we enter a new school year with more uncertainty about how it will look, I advise creating a resource that students can consistently visit to gain learning and resources digitally. I recommend using this even if you are meeting face-to-face with students, so that when the time comes to connect remotely, students can have a Site for sore eyes.
Mathematics Teacher, Ceres High School