Page Gadgets

Now that you have the basics of building a Google Site, it's time to turn toward some things called gadgets that will transform your Google Site into a classroom tool. So, what's a gadget? According to Google, "gadgets are HTML and JavaScript applications that can be embedded in web pages and other apps, including Sites" (see here). In common language, a gadget is simply a tool to display more types of content on a Sites page. There are lots of gadgets out there, so we'll just be focusing on a few in this lesson.

Text Box Gadget

Common Gadgets

Two common gadgets I'd like to highlight are the Table of Contents and Subpage Listing gadgets.

This gadget dynamically builds a small box of links based on your use of Headers on the page. To the left is an example of this gadget.

Subpage Listing
This gadget is use to display links to all the subpages for the page you specify. This gadget is quite helpful for building secondary navigation into your site using a page sidebar. You can find an example of this gadget in use here.

Sites Gadgets

Recent Posts
This gadget works in tandem with an Announcements page by pulling in and displaying a specified number of most "recent posts." This is great when you only want to include a "snippet" of several posts to catch your visitor's attention. At the bottom of the gadget is a link to "view more" which allows the visitor to see the full list of announcement pots. An example of this gadget in action may be found here.

Recent List Items
This gadget works in tandem with a List page by displaying the indicated number of list items. You also have the option of only displaying certain aspects of each list item rather than the full list. As with the Recent Posts gadget, at the bottom of this gadget is a link to "view more" which takes the visitor to the actual list page. Additionally, at the bottom, it states the name of the list page from which the list items are being pulled. An example of this gadget in action may be found here.

Text Box
This simple gadget functions very much like a text box in Microsoft Word. It simply allows you to add some content to your page, wrap a border around it to make it stand out, and optionally give it a title. The image of the gadget options (at the top of this page) was placed inside a Text Box gadget.

Other Gadgets

At the bottom of the "Gadgets" column (center), you will see a link for "More Gadgets..." which takes you to the Gadget Gallery where you can find lots of other gadgets. Three that I'd like to draw your attention are:

Include Gadget
The Include Gadget functions like an iFrame, allowing you to embed additional web content into your site.

RSS Feed Gadget - FreeTech4Teachers

RSS Feed Gadget
This gadget functions in a manner similar to the Recent Posts gadget with the exception that the posts displayed come from an external RSS source. At the right, you will see an example of this gadget in use.

Slideshow Maker Gadget
The Slideshow Maker gadget works in tandem with a Google Slides presentation to create a nifty image scroller. An example of this gadget in action may be found here.

Google Gadgets

Google+ Album

The last column of gadgets all have to do with Google specifically. There are gadgets that allow you to embed Calendars, Charts, actual Google Drive items (such as those show to the left), Google+ Photo Albums (at right), Maps (bottom), and a Group (example). But perhaps the Google Gadget that I find to be the most useful for teachers is the Google Drive Folder gadget, which allows a teacher to display on a sites page the contents of a specified folder in their Google Drive. This is a powerful way of displaying student work for others to view.

Faith Academy

There is so much more that could be said about Page Gadgets but we must stop somewhere.