June 25th – Blogger

After spending “A Week With” WordPress, I’ll introduce you to a few more CMS (Content Management System) websites.  Up first, Blogger.

June 25th – Blogger

Blogger was an independent company until Google purchased in 2003.  Blogger was one of the first services that you could “blog” on and that is why most of the domain URL’s are “blogspot”.


Blogger is very simple to setup.  Once logged into you Google account, visit blogger.com and it will ask permission to use services.  Then you are tossed into the Dashboard where you can add a new post.

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This looks like any word processor you’ve ever used.  That’s a huge bonus for those people who are nervous about making the jump.  Everything is pretty simple and straight forward, inserting images, making anything bold, italic or underlined, etc…  Having and working off of that base knowledge is a great help to those trying for the first time.  Blogger also has an easy toggle between the “Compose” and “HTML” views which help for those interested on what goes on behind the scenes.  The stats page is very helpful as well – seeing the location of those viewing your blog and the frequency which they view.

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The websites are a template which all kinda look the same.  You could spend a lot of time with work arounds and figuring out your own code, or just jump to a Wix, Weebly or Squarespace for a more professional look.




June 13th – A Week With Google Sites

As our brief week with Google Sites comes to a close, we’ve really only focused on the content part – not the design.  Website design could be an entire “post a day series” with all of the different techniques used to capture attention and create clicks.  If you are in front of a class regularly, I’d suggest doing some “website critiques” to find out what works and what doesn’t (while improving writing, summarizing and critical thinking skills) – and use that to guide you (and students) in your website creation experience.

Today we’ll focus on the layout options and how to create a template to share with your students as a starting point.

June 13th – A Week With Google Sites

The Layout Menu Bar option gives you 9 different options, 1, 2, and 3 column and then variations on each.

Google Sites Layouts

The GIF above shows a few of the different options, and what happens when you change layout after you’ve typed in your content – so as you can see it doesn’t delete it, but you can see what it looks like.

Once you’ve created a layout – you might want to make a template for your students to use in their projects.  Google Sites has made that very easy and with an Add-On (check back tomorrow) you can manage all those sites you assign.

To create a template, switch out of editing mode, then click on the *newer* universal sign for settings – the “Gear” in the top right hand corner.

Google Sites Template

Once we click on the gear, a whole new level of options come up and we see “Create a Template.”  The process takes a while, but I’ve included a screenshot of the finished product below.  Tune in tomorrow for how to easy share that template with your class!

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June 12th – A Week With Google Sites

Today we focus on the 3rd (and final) column in the “Insert” Menu Bar option.

If you are just tuning in, here are the previous post: Setting Up Your SiteGoogle Sites Basics1st Column InsertAdding Pages2nd Column Insert

June 12th –  A Week With Google Sites

The 3rd and final column of the “Insert” focuses on all the Google options you have.  These options include: Apps Script, Calendar, Chart, Drive, Google+, Group, Hangout, Map, and YouTube.

Apps Script is something you can create in a different Google Service (I’ll be covering Google Scripts in another post in the future).

Calendar you can embed a calendar created for the site or your own showing your availability.

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Chart is a graph that is located inside of one of your Google Spreadsheets.

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Drive can be anything you have in your Google Drive including videos

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Google+ is becoming more and more popular and the enticement of Photo storage and organization is bringing more and more people over.

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Group can insert a Google Group, but with Google+ becoming more popular with Communities you’ll need to find one still going strong.

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Hangout allows you to make yourself even more accessible to the people browsing your website (I’m sure someone has a good reason to use this…)

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Map is a great gadget that you’ve seen before on other websites.

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YouTube is another gadget you’ve seen before.

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And – test a few out!  Tomorrow, our last day, we’ll look at the layout and how to create a template to share with your class to make their own websites.


June 11th – A Week With Google Sites

Following up from the June 9th post on the “Insert” options – today we’ll look at Google Gadgets.

June 11th – A Week With Google Sites

The Gadgets that Google offers are all created within the webpage or website itself.  This means that you need to have the information and content present before adding in a Gadget so the list below should help in getting the content before adding the Gadget.

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Recent Post feeds from the “announcements” page – this means that you have needed to add a page (using the gear in the upper right hand corner) that stores announcements and follow that template.

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Recently Updated Files feeds from the filing cabinet feature – see the above to figure out how to add a “filing cabinet” page and template.

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Recent List Items  feeds from the list feature – same as the two above.

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Text Box is similar to a text box in other programs, but you’ll need to place the text in the box before and then it resizes, no clicking and dragging in the document itself.

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HTML Box is a separate pop-out box that you can add a few lines of HTML to and then place inside your document.

Google Sites Insert HTML

More Gadgets is similar to the Add-On’s that you can search for and add in Google Docs/Slides/Sheets.

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June 10th – A Week With Google Sites

After the first few days, I’ve realized that you might have a bunch of content that you want to organize and start populating multiple pages.  I was going to do this post last, but we should be focused in getting a majority of the content down before the styling comes into play.

June 10th – A Week With Google Sites

Once we’ve started our webpage and copying content in, we might want to add pages.  Next to the “edit” button (which you know only use the ‘e’ key right?) you’ll notice a page icon with the addition sign inside (and the HotKey ‘c’). When you click on it you have a few options: Web Page, Announcements, File Cabinet, List, Start Page.

Google Sites Insert Pages

Web Page is pretty much just a blank page with no preset form.  You can add attachments along the bottom.

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Announcements is really a blog roll that you can post blogs and the newest is at the top.

Google Sites Announcemnets

File Cabinet is a page which stores and organizes your files that you upload.  These files can be from your computer or Google Drive.

Google Sites File Cabinet

List is a table feature which you can provide content and then use the traditional sorting arrows to sort and filter the information.

Google Sites List Page

Start Page is a main page with a Gadget front and center as a “splash page” to welcome people to your website.

Google Sites Start Page

My suggestion: Same as the others – you got to add pages and try them out!

June 9th – A Week With Google Sites

After looking at the basics on starting a Google Site and general editing options, now we’ll look at what makes a Google Site a webpage – the interactive options.

June 9th – A Week With Google Sites

Once you click on the “pencil” icon (or use the HotKey ‘e’) you’ll get your simple formatting options – but you also get a Menu Bar with “Insert”, “Format”, “Table”, “Layout” and “Help”.  Today we’ll look at all the options that “Insert” has to offer.

The Insert menu option has three columns: Common, Gadgets and Google – today we’ll just look at the 1st column.  The first column is something you have hopefully seen before – Image, Link, Table of Contents, Subpage Listing and Horizontal Line.

Google Sites Insert Options

Image is easy and the same uploading format as other Google products.

Link is the same as if you selected text and used the Menu Bar icon (or Cmmd+K/Cntrl+K) to insert a link.

Table of Contents is similar to when we’d use Headings and the Table of Content would automatically create a Table of Contents based on those headings.

Subpage Listing is only really available if you have Subpages (and this is something you’ve added in the top right corner).  Google Sites allows you to create a website with webpages within it – and this option gives automatically creates links to them.

Horizontal Line is just that, a horizontal line across the length of the page.  In HTML this is <hr/> and creates a nice line of separation.



June 8th – A Week With Google Sites

After looking at the basics yesterday, and taking a break to figure out some content – let’s look at how we can add content to our website.

June 8th – A Week With Google Sites

Once you’ve started your Google Site, have some content to fill in and clicked on the pencil – you’ll notice a change in the page. The Menu Bar suddenly appears and your traditional options of underlineitalics, bold as well as alignment, text color and text background (highlight) color.

Google Sites Editing2

One option at the very end is the <HTML> option.  The <HTML> option shows you the actual HTML code so you can make changes if you are more comfortable with that.  I use it rarely, only when Google Sites does some interesting formatting option – but it’s fun to check out and later when we add in a Vimeo video (or any other embed <html> option) we’ll be looking at that more in depth.