Another dot in the blogosphere?

Classic Google Sites and learning

Posted on: February 29, 2020

I am reminding myself about this old news: The sunsetting of classic Google Sites in favour of the newer version is the end of 2021.

Why the reminder? I have over 50 Google Sites: 44 are classic and 10 are current.

I am making the transition slowly to focus on the sites that I rely on regularly. But the main reason is that each move takes time and effort.

The conversions are not complete and clean. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has exported a website and transferred it to another platform. There are relatively minor issues like font changes and page permissions. But there are also major ones like non-working plug-ins and broken embedded content.

The best thing about the new and improved Google Sites is the WYSIWYG simplicity. It also uses responsive web design so I can author on a laptop and the site will automatically fit and arrange content in phone browser.

The biggest loss in the new Google Sites is page history. Google Sites have wiki architecture at its roots (I reflected on my early adoption of Sites and its precursor). Page histories are fundamental to wikis because they allow users to see what and how a page has changed over time.

This reflects one of my educational philosophies — it is important to see the processes behind a product, not just take a product at face value. In the case of learning, I am not just interested in WHAT my students might learn; I want them to know the HOW and WHY.

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