During a conversation last year with fifth grade, Mrs. Thompson decided she wanted students to take their explorer projects one step further, away from the paper books they had created in the past and closer to a more technology-rich portfolio of work.
Enter Google Sites. With our Google Apps for Education (GAFE) access, students can create their own websites (under our school domain, of course) and they can share them with teachers, parents, each other, and the world. I took the directions of the project and modified them, making them fit on the website. In working with the 5th grade teachers, we created what specifications we wanted and made the jobs and projects.
Students were able to find a job that interested them. It could be researching and typing a biography, creating a Google Drawing, making a map on Google My Maps, or actually creating the website and putting the bare-bones of it together.
Students were proud of the results, and so were the teachers. Now that we are in year two of the project, we have been able to make some modifications from what it was last year. Using feedback from students and teachers, changes were made and items were added.
Many of them shared it with me for feedback and help with things they could not figure out on their own. Many of them were quite capable of troubleshooting and creating the site after a five-minute tutorial on how it worked. Please take some time and explore their websites below!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom