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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Google Sites: Create free educational websites.

Our district is moving away from our current web hosting solution to Google Sites.  It is free, easy to use and for those who are advances website creators, you have a lot of options to choose from.  The following education technology tutorial will demonstrate how to initially create a website and how to use templates that are already created for you.

Advantages of using Google Sites:
  • Embed all types of content within your site.
  • Create web page templates for your teachers or students to use so they don't have to start from scratch.
  • Set up page level sharing.
  • Free of course.
1.  After logging into your Gmail account, you should see links to your Calendar, Drive/Docs, Sites, and Video.  Click the Sites link.

2.  Once you are in GSites click the "Create" button.

3.  My favorite way to create a site is to just start with a "Blank template."  However there are tons of website templates already created by other users who are educators, so for this tutorial I am going to demonstrate how to grab a Template from the gallery.

4.  After clicking on the "Browse the gallery for more" button you will be take to a screen like this.  Click on the search bar and enter a description and then hit enter or you can do what I did and click on the "Schools and Education" option which will take you to a bunch of templates that you can scroll through.

5.  Select a site template that might work for you.

6.  You will then be able to read a description of the site template and you can even click the "Preview" button to see what the site actually looks like.

7.  If this is the template you want click the "Select" button or go back to try another template.

8.  Give a title for your site.  You will notice that this title also creates a URL/link to your website.

9.  If you are creating a blank template the you can click on "Select a theme." and choose color for your site.  In this tutorial we won't worry about that.  Give a category or two about your site and then give a short description in the "Site description" box.

10.  Once you are done, click the "Create" button to get your site created. 

11.  For some reason, sometimes the site creation just sites there.  Give it 5 minutes or so and if you aren't redirected to a different page, just click "Cancel" and you will be taken back to the list of sites and your's should be there.  Hopefully though you will not have to worry about it and you will be automatically be redirected to your new website.

Your site should now be created and you can now enter the "Edit" phase.  I will be creating another tutorial shortly on how to edit and add items to your site to give it character and an aesthetic appeal.

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