I Love My Google Site! (sorry WordPress…)

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First, I must say that I am super happy with my WordPress blog here.  It was really easy to get started, with lots of choices for themes, and I like the iphone app too.  But when I made my class website last year, I decided to go with a Google site because I already knew how to do it.   And now that I’ve got it where I want it, I’ll never give it up (…neither will I let it down!).  Here it is y’all (click it and go there if you feel like it):

Things that I love about my Algebra site:

1.  I love that it has all the learning targets and they are neatly organized.  I am going all-in on standards based grading this year, so I want to be totally clear on my “standards.”  If a kid wants to re-assess, they know where to go for info about the learning target.

My units mostly follow Holt McDougal’s OnCore Algebra I worktext. I like how they call it a worktext, heh.

2.  I love that each learning target page has a video (or will eventually, only 1.1 – 1.3 are done so far).  The plan is to get way ahead on the videos within a month or two.  I’m sure I’ll be blogging about my video adventures a ton this year, stay tuned.  Oh yeah, I also have a Disqus comment thread that is embedded in each page (doesn’t work in Chrome, boo!).  So far, no takers.  I think I need to give them more incentive to comment, maybe?

That video there kinda sucks, sorry kids. I promise I’m working on getting better at making them.

3.  I love that it has a built in response system.  At the end of each video, I ask them one question on the topic.  They give me the answer through a Google form that’s embedded.  So far, this has been awesome!  I see who has it and who needs help before they even walk through the door.  It’s also a good quick check on who watched the video.

4.  I think I’m gonna love having students schedule a re-assessment there.  I stole the format from Ramsey Musallam on his flip teaching blog (he’s awesome!).  I want to eventually use his explore-flip-apply model for lessons, but I’m not quite there yet.

So far everything has been working exactly like I want (knock on wood).  My website is really the vehicle that is allowing me to make a run at standards based grading and a flipped class model.  I guess that should be the main reason I love it, but it’s also just kinda pretty 😉

//brag session over.  Thank you for listening.

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8 thoughts on “I Love My Google Site! (sorry WordPress…)

  1. I’m also putting my class (Algebra 1) online, but I’m using Moodle. I’m hoping to be able to use the interactive features Moodle offers once I get all the content up. I will be using Google Sites for an electronic portfolio in a STEM class second semester, so I’ve started a site of my own to help me learn to teach them. Do you have a portfolio template that you like?

  2. Looking back, I wish I would’ve taken a closer look at Moodle before making my google site. I still like what I have, but Moodle seems slicker on some things. We are also doing an e-portfolio (https://sites.google.com/a/lusherschool.org/math-portfolio-example/) for our math classes. The idea is to have the students keep them through their middle and high school careers. We’re already questioning whether to stick with google sites for this though. We’re thinking a blog site (wordpress, kidblogs, etc) may be better for collaboration and feedback.

  3. cscanlon

    I really like your ideas for the organization for your site and your assessment at the end of each of your videos. Our 7th grade math department is flipping this year and we are always looking for good ideas. Thanks for sharing! What do you like better about Moodle? We have not yet explored that much and were planning on also using google forms to have students answer a question or two after each video. What devices do you use in your classroom? (we will be getting iPads in January…)

    • I haven’t used Moodle, I’ve just heard about it. The main problem I have with google sites is that it doesn’t have a “comments” widget built in. So I had to create a Disqus thread and embed it. I think some other options (Moodle, WordPress, Edmodo) make it easier to comment back and forth. But again, I haven’t tried these other options, so I can’t say they’re better.
      Right now I have no devices, but I’ll eventually have Dell laptops. I would love to have some iPads, that’s awesome!

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