Why was I excited to be involved in the pilot program? I wanted all my kids to have an easily accessible school email account which this program allows. I wanted them to have an easy way to post web pages (without any html background) and possibly build their own blog. I think Sites will make this possible.
I jumped right in and built a support site for my Multimedia classes. I'll be introducing this application to my building staff in the near future, so, I wanted to get some pages up and working and get comfortable with the interface before I had to stand in front of my peers and answer questions. Here are my thoughts so far:
- It is easy to get a site up and running.
- Sometimes frustrating if you are used to creating your own pages or using a more advanced web editor (like Dreamweaver). Doubt this will be a problem for the majority of staff or students.
- Took some experimenting to get the hang of changing the different page elements. I'd like a help page that better describes things like column widths, header sizes, logo size, etc.
- Being able to embed a Google Calendar is a plus even though I still tend to have problems with maintaining multiple calendars. I seem to constantly be posting something to the wrong calendar. Maybe it's my age? Maybe it's my color disablity?
- The ability to put up documents for download is a big plus. We had this capability before, but this simplifies the process.
- Interface makes it easy to update/change information on my pages. I am experimenting with keeping a running list of assignments and activities for my class. Ease of use may make it possible for me to do this on a daily basis.
I'm waiting for student access to be completed, at which point, they will be creating their own pages. That experience will give me a better feel for the pitfalls and advantages. I'll keep you posted on what happens.
Here's a brief video introduction to Sites from Google.
[Image: Created by Al Gunn: Based on "Cliff jumping in S. Korea"; Flickr: Uploaded on May 17, 2005 by bzo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bzo/14417290/ and Google logo captured from www.Google.com]