New Google Sites – "Page Level Permissions" with a Twist

Over the summer, I have been converting our tech website for the high school manually into the New Google Sites. In a way, it has been great because I have been able to truly look through what is on our tech website and weed through the items and information that is no longer valid. (That’s one draw back from how quickly technology changes) That spring cleaning feel in the summer time!

In thinking about how I wanted to design the site, I was trying to find a way in which staff at the high school would only have access to certain pages, and not students. I had used the page level permission feature in the old Google Sites before. This was helpful – as long as the staff member was logged in with their Google account, they would see about 6 different tabs on the website where as students and the rest of the public would only see abut 3 tabs. Currently, the New Google Sites does not have page level permissions – maybe a feature that will show up in the future? Who knows…

I have heard some people share the tip of reenacting page level permissions through documents and files that are embedded on a page. In other words, if I wanted only staff to see content on a page, I could embed a Google Document on the page. Then with the blue share button in the Google Document, I would only share it with the staff group list. Thus, even though the public could see the page on the site, they would not see the content in the Google Document (unless the viewer was part of the staff group list). I knew I did not want to use this approach.

Instead, I wanted to make sure that only staff could find particular page with information that was just for them. Below, you will find a screenshot of a page that is not public. I have decided to hide it from the site’s navigation. This page is a landing page for teachers where they could then select a subpage based on what they were looking to do. Thus, the landing page and its subpages are hidden from the public.

Hiding a Page in New Google Sites

In order to hide a page from the site navigation:

1. First Create the page(s) you plan to hide from the navigation

2. Hover over the page name and click on the three dots that appear on the right side.

3. From the drop down menu, select ‘hide from navigation’. You will notice as a result, there is a link with a line through it for the Teacher Items page. This means that it is now hidden. Whereas Chromebook and Resources pages do not have this icon.

Giving Staff Access to Page – “Page Level Permissions” with a Twist

Again, I needed a way to get a page to staff without the ability to use Page Level Permissions. So, I…

1. I published the site.

2. I viewed the published site. (You will notice on the top right corner that Teacher Items page is not in the navigation of the website.

3. I will then use the google URL shortener to shorten the link. I will shorten the link to the Teacher Items page (not the home page). This is the link that I will ask staff to bookmark on their devices at the beginning of the school year. As long as staff access the tech website with this link, they will have access to everything that has been posted on the new tech website. If they access the website from the public link, which will be linked on the high school website, they will only have access to the public pages that are included in the navigation of the website.

To get a better understanding of what I am talking about:

Click HERE to view a sample site. You will notice in the navigation of the site,  Teacher Items Page is not listed.

Click HERE to view Teacher Items Page. This would be the link that I would ask teachers to bookmark.

Use of this Feature
Sure, not all of you might be in the same boat as I am with needing to hide pages to differentiate content between staff and students. But one way this feature might be useful is for those that are into integrating Breakout EDU into their curriculum. If you create a breakout using the New Google Sites, you could hide certain pages so that it is not easily accessible for students to get to – but yet you are still using one site to host all of the information/content.

Want to talk more about this feature, you know where to find me. And that is my Spiel…