District Websites Going Google

Seth Denney, Instructional Technology Specialist

School districts have had websites for several years.  In the past, websites had to be coded be coded by hand, created using difficult-to-use tools, or created through a third-party content management system.  Websites used to be difficult to create, difficult to keep updated, and/or expensive.

Now, school districts can create and update websites easily, and for free.  Several districts use free tools, like WordPress and Joomla!, for their websites.  And an increasing number of school districts use Google Sites for their websites: Danville, Harmony, Morning Sun, WACO, and Wayne Community School Districts use Google Sites for their district websites.

Google Sites is a free service that is included in Google Apps for Education.  Most of the school districts in the Great Prairie region have a Google Apps domain, and creating a site is as easy as logging into a Google account.  Districts don’t need to spend money on a web server, because Google Sites runs in the cloud.

Google Sites are also easy to use.  Sites take just a minute to create, and there are really only two buttons:  one to create a page, and another edit the page.  Other Google resources, like calendars, documents, forms, and videos can be easily inserted into sites.

Different users can have different levels of access to different web pages.  For example, an activities coordinator could manage the athletic pages, and the food service coordinator could manage the lunch calendar page.  Staff can have private pages on the district website that are not visible to students or the community.

Your site can be highly customized.  You can choose your school’s color scheme, and insert your district’s logos.  Google Sites lets you customize just about everything, including fonts, layouts, favicons, and iOS icons.

If you would like to create a Google Site for your classroom, school, or district, email seth.denney@gpaea.org.

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