While Google has put out some great tools in other areas, Google Sites has always been a bit lacking. It is difficult to create sites that are visually appealing and many end up looking like something straight out of the ’90s. Not anymore! The totally rebuilt version of Google sites is intuitive, simple to use, and makes clean, modern looking websites.
What’s new in the rebuild?
Real-time collaboration – The new sites will function just like any other google product – allowing multiple collaborators to work on the site at a time. Currently, multiple people can edit a site, but only one at a time. This opens up better possibilities for students using this tool as well.
Drag and drop design – In the new version, you will see a sidebar that provides all of your options for adding content to your page. No more complicated menus. Simply click to add a new text box or image, resize it, and move it wherever you’d like.
Responsive Design – As you design, you can view what the site would look like on a mobile tablet or phone. The design will adjust based on the device being used, so content will still look nice and be accessible regardless of the device. If parents are accessing your classroom website on their phones, it will be much easier to use.
More to come – While the new sites is much simpler to use, it also means that are fewer features than in classic sites. Google will be adding in additional features in the future, but we will have to wait and see what those include.
What about my current site?
Migration tools to transition classic sites to new sites will be coming out in 2017. Gradually, classic sites will be eliminated in 2018/19, but Google will provide at least a year’s notice of this change. If you would like to transition your site prior to this, you will have to do so manually by copying and pasting or recreating content from your classic site.
Quick Introduction Video
If you are looking for something a little more detailed try this New Google Sites Tutorial.
How do I access it?
Google sites is now built right into your Drive. Once you are in your Drive, Click New > More> Google Sites.You can also go to the sites app in your grid or sites.google.com. When creating a new site, make sure you choose New Google Sites from the left.How can I use this?
This new version of sites is a simple way to create a classroom webpage for parents or to post information for students. Maybe even more importantly, it can be a great tool for students to build a portfolio, demonstrate learning in a different way, and share their work with a wider audience.