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Discover how to use Google Apps to become more productive in class and after school. In this course, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows students how to work with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Drive to communicate and collaborate with classmates, become more organized, and save time. Learn how to manage school and personal email, back up your assignments, create a class website, and connect with others on Google+. Teachers can also use this course to get tips to help their students succeed inside and outside the classroom.
When it comes to your education, group projects can be a lot of fun. They give you the opportunity to work with your classmates. You can also share and gain ideas that are different than the ideas you might've already had. We all know though that group work comes with some challenges. So for example, who does what? When do they do it by? And how much work does each person do? Well, built into the Google suite of products is something known as Google Sites. And Google Sites can be a great way to help you organize a group project to make sure that everyone's doing their equal share as well as to communicate to the entire team exactly what's going on with your project.
Let's go ahead and get started by creating a Google site to manage a team project. Here I've navigated to Google sites by logging into my Google account and clicking on sites in the upper navigation. If you're a regular gmail user, log into gmail, click on the grid icon on the right hand side and select sites from the drop down menu.To get started, we're going to click on the create button on the left hand side. The first thing is just to create a basic site template. We can either start with a blank template or we can choose the gallery for some premade templates by other users. Now a blank template's typically the best choice.
Blank templates do not mean just a pure white page, we can still apply a theme to get some colors and look and make our website look nice right away. But, there's no content inside of a blank template. If you browse the gallery, you might find some really cool looking websites. But, those websites are probably going to have content as well. And then you have to take the time to go through and delete a lot of content. So if you're new to Google sites, I recommend starting with a blank template. Let's go and give our site a title, and we're going to call this Collaborative Group Project. Now by default Google will create a URL which is the web address to get to your particular website.
Directly below your site name it will give you that web address. Typically the end of it's going to be your site name separated by dashes. You do have the opportunity to come in and customize this. Directly below the site URL, we can also select a theme. I'm going to go ahead and open up the theme selector by clicking on the arrow. Here we have a variety of predefined styles that we can go ahead and apply to our website. As I scroll down this, I think I'm going to go ahead and use this Vinyl Panel style for our collaborative website. Once I've selected it, I'm going to go ahead and scroll all the way to the bottom and come to the More options section.
I can open more options once again by clicking the arrow next to it. Here I have the opportunity to create site categories and a site description. I'm going to go ahead and add a site description. That is Collaborative space for group project members. That way other people inside of my institution will know that this website is only for the collaborative members of that particular team. Also if you plan on creating a lot of websites, or making this website available to other students inside your building, it's a good idea to add some site categories. This will allow you to categorize the different websites you create, as well as allow other people to find it. Let's go ahead and add a site category of Collaboration.
So now that we've named our site, we've applied a theme to our site, and we've added some information, let's go and click the Create button at the top of the screen. As simple as those few steps were, we've already created our website. At this point our website's very basic. All we have is a homepage, which has no content to it. And on the left-hand side, Google has also created a site map page for us. Which will map out all the various pages of our website as we start adding some.
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