Classroom vs. Site
This year, our district has made significant strides toward being a Google Apps for Education school district. All of our faculty and students have their own Google Account and have been working to understand the benefits afforded by working in the cloud.
As we drew the year to a close we started Summer training for our English Language Arts teachers, as they would be receiving a Chromebook cart in each of their classrooms. As part of that training, one of the questions that popped up was, "Which is better? Google Sites or Google Classroom."
To answer that question, I've provided a few pieces of information for you (benefits of each), as well as a few videos to help newbies understand each tool:
- Teachers can assign students to their classroom.
- Assign and grade work within the classroom.
- Use the stream to post announcements or assignments
- Link to Google Drive to assign work.
- Add links to YouTube Videos
- Add links to URLs
- Allow students to post or comment (easy to disable)
Discussion Forums using Google Classroom
- Freedom to create the look and feel of a Teacher Webpage/Site
- Add multiple pages
- Link to Google Drive to add assignments
- Create a File Cabinet to share files as a department
- Create an Announcements Page to post thoughts and discussion topics
- Embed any content you need (YouTube, Easel.ly, Etc...)
- Add links to websites, etc....
- Open site up for discussion boards
- Embed a Google Calendar for a list of events
- Have students create their own Google Site as a digital portfolio
- Use a Google Site as a Wiki where students can work on group projects.
Setting up a Google Site
The best advice I can give is that you would like to use both, you might create a Google Site that includes things such as your Syllabus, Classroom Rules, a Google Calendar, and then a link to your Google Classroom page so you can assign work and grade it. Then you are working with the best of both worlds. The two work very well together.