The New Google Sites

what-is-google-sites copyI had a chance to play with the new Google Sites this week and thought I would share a short “first look” video.

The new Google Sites has a simplified and intuitive interface that follows the Material Design that Google is using across all its services. I think the new Google Sites will disappoint a few who would like to have more control over the “look and feel” of a site. However, I feel that the streamed down interface will make it easier for anyone to create and publish a website quickly and easily.

Tip: Favourite Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts

Image from NOGRAN s.r.o. -
Image from NOGRAN s.r.o. –

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to get to the built-in functionality of many programs. We are all familiar with ‘Ctrl+c’ for copy and ‘Ctrl+v’ for paste, but when I am using Google Drive there are a some that I can’t live without.

The ‘move’ shortcut will move your file to a new location and the ‘add’ shortcut will allow you to have the same file in multiple locations.

  • After selecting a file hit the ‘z’ key to move the file to another folder.
  • ‘Shift + z’ will allow you to add a file to another folder, letting you have the same file in multiple locations – remember that if you make changes to the file in one location it will also change it in the other.
  • Bonus tip: if you hit ‘z’ first and then use ‘Ctrl’ on Chrome OS and Windows or the ‘Alt’ key on a Mac, you can cycle between move and add.

zkey  shiftz



GAFE and Google Classroom

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend EdCampWR with educators from both elementary and secondary schools. They were from both the public and separate school systems. There were even a few administrators, a Google Engineer, an independent school educator, and a few business people. Not a bad mix of people for a Saturday Un-Conference to talk about education.

EdCampWaterlooRegion About Ed Camp Waterloo

There were a couple of discussion I participated in where people were interested in integrating technology into their teaching. Flipped classrooms came up a number of times and I was able to provide a link to my previous blog post about “Flipping the Library” that demonstrated many of the techniques useful to the classroom teacher.

Another topic that came up was how to use Google Classroom. Over the past few weeks I have been working on a collection of video tutorials to show my colleagues the benefits of Google Classroom and how to integrate it into their teaching. These videos along with other resources were collected onto a website to share at an upcoming PD session I will be leading in the near future for the WRDSB. I will be adding a few more videos later this week to finish the video series. I hope you find it useful.