Saturday, August 13, 2016

Google Sites for Portfolios and Project

Google Classroom has quickly become one of the most popular classroom management tool for teachers- a task formerly handled by Google Sites (for me anyway). So what about Sites? Does it have a place in the classroom? Absolutely! Google Sites is an ideal tool for student portfolios and projects. Don’t ask your students to create a poster board project or (another) presentation. Instead, ask them to build a website!

Note: there is a NEW version of Google sites that is currently in development. All of the examples below are using the old Google Sites. Not all of the tools listed below are [currently] compatible with the NEW Google Sites.

Benefits of Website projects:

  • Learn how to effectively research and gather information. 
  • Practice displaying information for an audience. 
  • Build 21st century skills 
  • Real-world writing practice 
  • Share your finished project with the world 
  • Easy to collaborate remotely. 
  • Easy to update and add over days, weeks, or months.

Subject area teachers sometimes shy away from website projects because they aren’t web designers, or they feel that the technical aspect of the project will take up too much class time. These are valid concerns, but ones that can be addressed by using Google Sites.

Google Sites:

  • Does not require any experience building website. 
  • Does not require any knowledge of HTML or coding. 
  • Can be as simple as create a word document or using MS Publisher. 
  • Provides deployment and management tools for teachers

Tips for Success:

Build a site template

Instead of asking students to start from scratch, build an empty Google site that contains all of the required pages and elements for your assignments. Students simply add in their content.

Use SiteMaestro

SiteMaestro is a free add-on for Google Sheets that will automatically take your site template and make a copy for every student in your class. It will also tell you who is working on their site and allow you to send messages to individual students or all students.

Develop a Rubric

Rubric scoring is the optimal way to evaluate website projects and students will exhibit a range of skill and ability. Use the Orange Slice rubric creator (a free add-on for Docs) to get started.

Project & Portfolio Examples

Student Projects

Portfolio Examples

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