Creating a Classroom Website Planning Guide

Creating a Classroom Website was the single most important thing that opened my eyes to the power of technology in education.  I started my very first website 6 years ago... it seems so long ago now.  I was the first teacher in my district to get a classroom website- and many of my co-teachers thought it was pointless but I did it anyway.  It started small, and I wasn't sure if it would be used.  I stumbled upon Google Sites and that was my very first exposure to Google Apps for Education- although at the time, I had no idea what that was!  

6 years later I feel that having a classroom website is as important as ever.  With student connected at home and often times searching for things to do online- why not give them a push in the right direction.  I love that I can share a game or activity that we did during the day and then students are so excited to share with their parents- while practicing and reinforcing what was learned.  

I am in love with Google Sites.  It is super simple to create, share, and integrate Google Tools into the site.  I love that you can embed your classroom calendar and that students and parents can download the calendar to their phone.  I love that the ability to embed Picasa slideshows and being able to snap pictures and load them to the site automatically.  I know that there are other programs out there, but Google Sites has my heart. 

Deciding what to put on a classroom site is often times half of the battle of getting something up and running.  To help with this, I have created a Classroom Website Planning Guide- This guide has many different ideas and questions to help get the ideas flowing.  Take a look- and please give me any feedback that you may have, especially if something needs to be added!

If you plan to use Google Sites, here is my site that I use in many of my trainings.  Below is links from Google's Training Center for each section of Google Sites.  

Chapter 3- Choose Page Types
Chapter 5- Embed documents, gadgets, media, and other Google tools
Chapter 6- Share, Publish and Protect a Site
Chapter 7- Use Sites to Manage your Class
Chapter 8- Gadget Gallery and Development

You know what the saying is, once you go Google, you won't go back!  I sincerely hope you give a classroom website a try!

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