Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google Sites Templates

An announcement this week on the official Google Sites blog will make a lot of teachers and schools happy. They have ready made templates to enable your Site to look and feel like a web page.

"Google Sites makes creating and sharing a website easy. It is powerful enough for a company intranet, yet simple enough for a family website. Today, we’re happy to simplify the site creation process even further with the introduction of the Google Sites template gallery. When you select a template from the new Sites template gallery, your new site will come setup with custom page layouts, links for navigating to each page, embedded gadgets, themes and much more...."

So for those who STILL do not have a school website for 2010, maybe this could be a good place to start, particularly for the small schools who don't have extra staff and money to do these things. And for those of us using Sites for all kinds of other purposes, this will make the creation process much quicker. Having said that, I have always been a person who likes to start from a blank page, be it PowerPoint, Hyperstudio, Keynote or whatever!

You can read more about it in this Washington Post article here.

I have been experimenting a little with creating a page in Google Sites and copying the HTML and pasting it into KnowledgeNet, simply because I find Sites faster to use. Last week I got caught out because none of the images showed when I pasted the HTML into KN. I puzzled over it, then realised that I hadn't made the Site public in the settings, so of course they weren't available in KN.

One of the features I am sure we will use quickly (those of us who have Google Apps for Education) is the ability to create a template for your school and have it available inside your school Google Apps for everyone to use. It doesn't have to be shared publicly. You could create some very useful Portfolio templates like this.