Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Am I Crazy? Moving My Class Website to Google Sites

Some History

When I first started using the Internet with division one students many many many years ago, it was quickly apparent that too much time was spent having them type websites into the address bar. Initially I created a Word document with hyperlinks and saved it in a shared folder on our server. I taught them how to open that document and all they had to do was click on the hyperlinks. I just changed the content of that document for each technology lesson. Eventually I made my first class website on Tripod way before it was Tripod.Lycos! Later I moved it to Wordpress as I did not like the banner ads Tripod had.  


I Like Wordpress

I like Wordpress and have used it for over five years. It was relatively easy to learn and use. The URL for my site is http://msmondor.wordpress.com/ which meant when students searched "msmondor" my site was the first thing they found. I made Ms Mondor a spelling word in the first weeks of school. Things I like about Wordpress:

  • You can schedule posts.
  • It is user friendly.
  • It is free without a lot of annoying ads.
  • You can customize an easy to find URL.

So Why Move?

When EPSB first "went Google" I tried Google Sites and I hated it. It was clunky. So I pretty much ignored that part of Google Apps for Education. Last year I made a landing page for my former school using Google Sites. My, had things changed. It had all the things I liked about Wordpress plus I could make the interface more division one friendly than I could with Wordpress. I will miss my short and convenient URL. Things I like about Google Sites:
  • You can schedule posts.
  • It is free without annoying ads.
  • Can upload files for parents. For example on my math page I have math games that we've played at school.
  • Division One friendly interface.
  • Can integrate other aspects of Google Apps for Education easily.
  • It is easy to use after some initial trial and error/instruction.
  • There are templates to use create class websites.

Links to Consider Viewing