In September of this year I was invited to present at the AppsEvents European Summit regarding Google Sites. In fact, I had two presentations: The Basics of Google Sites which I presented with my colleague Jags Myanger and Advanced Google Sites which I presented individually. It was a great honour to be accepted to the conference as a presenter and I was looking forward to the opportunity. I had quite an extensive array of websites on the Google Sites platform which I used to extend the learning from my Grade Five classroom or to support the various sports teams, clubs and activities I coordinate at my my school.
As I was creating all of this content for my students and parents; I felt starved for best practice examples of how to use Sites in an educational context. I wanted to know how to best plan and organize my information so that it would be the most helpful to those trying to access it. I worked and reworked these pages and content leading colleagues from my school who also had curriculum websites. With upwards of 40 pages created on Google Sites I felt confident that I would be the expert that many other could turn to when in need of advice or guidance in this medium. I had embedded my Twitter feed in my site as well as calendars, YouTube playlists galleries and had really focused on turning over the creation of content to the students. That was the big feather in the cap, that students were driving their own learning. I was ready.
Then everything changed. Prior to the summer, I had made two proposals to present at the conference which were approved by my school. My co-presenter and I worked hard to have everything ready before we split for our summer break. Over the summer, Google released a new version of Google Sites rendering most of the work we did useless. Back to the drawing board we went. A silver lining? Time to apply Zen presentation principles to our work. Embedded in this blog post you will find the initial Basics of Google Sites and Advanced Google Sites pitches we made to the Administration of our school and a video which highlights the changes we made to our presentation and how those design features are setup to enhance usability, style and communication of our message. These principles now permeate my work and have become second nature to me when planning information to be shared.
Pitch for Basics of Google Sites
Pitch for Advanced Google Sites
A video highlighting Presentation Zen principles applied to my Google Sites presentations I made at the European Summit: