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Tuesday
Jul052011

2011 TechDayPlus: By William Hogue 2/3

The following is a summary of the presentation given by William Hogue

Course websites with Google Sites

By William Hogue

In this session I tried to assist everyone in getting started on building a class website with Google Sites. Google Sites offers privacy, ease of use, pre-made templates, and integration with YouTube, RSS feeds and Google Docs and all through a HTML-free interface (similar to blogging). I shared tips on setting up, developing and managing a Google Site.

Perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming task is setting up a Google account. Some of the participants had trouble with the email authentication loop, probably related to the use of spam filters.

We only had time to dabble with Sites in the most basic way. One interesting result is that the “choose a template” step was seen to be a lot more trouble that it is worth. This stems from the very large number of templates that are available with almost no mechanism to sort out which ones are most useful for creating a course site. In the end, the consensus was that starting with a blank template and adding content and styles would be a preferred procedure.

Once logged on and actually working with the content interface, most people agreed that Google Sites represents a big improvement over previous free website builders.