Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

#20:  The New Google Sites, Canvas update, and Tech Finds

(recorded July 18, 2017)
Karen and Amy talk over the features and limitations of The New Google Sites, as well as answer a listener question about Canvas. We also share our Tech Finds of the week.
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Earlier this year, the New Google Sites was enabled for our University domain. They are pretty different from what we are used to, and in some cases that is a good thing!

To refresh all of our memories on why we love having Google Sites in the world:

Google Sites' strength is in its collaboration. Multiple people can be in charge of it. You can setup a site for a committee you're on, and everybody can add and maintain stuff. It is common for committee and project work. Below you'll see an example of using it for education--a great way to set it apart from the main website as a self-contained chunk of curriculum. ("Self Contained Chunk" is a very technical term!)

Here are two GREAT examples of pages made with the new Google Sites:

(the first one is just a screenshot since it's only supposed to be for Master Gardeners and you possibly aren't one of those)

Master Gardener "Flowers for Pollinators" teaching package resource site:



OMGosh. SO PRETTY!! And there are embedded google docs and presentations all over the place. It looks great.

Here's the new Google Site for Extension's big web re-design project:


You can see on both of these how you can add a little branding. I show that in the video below too.

Old Google Sites was very unique looking

Just Tell Me What's Different Already!

  • Less distinctively weird looking. More modern.
  • Looks good on mobile
  • Add anything from Google apps (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Charts, Videos, or Images, Calendars, Maps, and YouTube videos). All of these show a preview of the file, with the full content viewable after a visitor selects the file. The Old Google Sites did something similar but it's just nicer now.
  • You can drag content around and it snaps into place
  • You can publish just to your organization (umn.edu) or the world. The World! Mwahahaha!
  • You can customize the url (a bit)
  • If you want super granular permissioning (like picking what specific people can see specifically), it is possible in the Old Google Sites but I haven't found a way to do that in New Google Sites
  • As far as I can tell, you can't convert an Old Google Site to a New Google Site.

In which I demo making a site in less than 5 minutes





The University’s z.umn.edu URL-shortening service recently added some great new features that you should know about! Back in March 2016, our article How to Shorten a Link (URL) and Track It described what z.umn.edu is and why you would use it. Today I want to highlight what is new in Z and share a short video that shows you how to use the new features.

Transfer Ownership

You now have the ability to transfer ownership of your links to someone else. This feature is great if you are leaving your position or if you no longer need to manage the z-link for a project, event, document, survey, website, etc.
  1. Under My Z-Links, select one or more URLs
  2. Click Give to a different user
  3. Enter the name or Internet ID of the person you want to transfer to
NOTE: The person you are transferring to must accept it. You can revoke access until they accept.

Organize and Share Collections

You can group your URLs into collections to organize them (e.g. projects, events, documents). Collections can be shared with other users to edit, view stats and add URL’s.

Create a collection:
  1. Under My Collections, click Add New Collection
  2. Enter a name and description and click Create Collection
Share a collection:
  1. Under My Collections, click the under the actions column and select Members
  2. Enter a name or Internet ID and click Add member
Transfer a URL to a collection:
  1. Under My Z-Links, find the URL you want to transfer
  2. Under the Collections column drop-down, select a collection

Departmental Accounts

You can use a departmental account to log into z.umn.edu to create and manage URLs. You can also share collections with departmental accounts.

Tweet

As soon as you create a URL, you can click the Tweet button to quickly share the URL via Twitter.

QR Code

A custom QR code is automatically created with any new z-link. When you create a new URL, you can click the QR Code button to download a QR image to your computer. 
Existing links:
  1. Click the under the actions column
  2. Select Share and QR code
  3. The QR code image is downloaded to your computer

Stats

You can still view statistics about your URLs by clicking the under the actions column and selecting stats. The page layout has changed a bit and they’ve added a place to manage the collection for your link, and buttons to tweet and create a QR code.