Sites: Sites Overview
By the end of the course, you should know:
- what sites are and why you should use them. how to add content to FrogLearn.
- how to share content and print pages.
- how advanced features can enhance your content.
- what presentation mode is and how you can use it to create independent study materials.
What is a site?
Sites: Creating a site
To create a site, click on the Plus ( + ) button on the FrogBar, in the pop-up, choose Site
This will open the New Site Wizard.
At this point, you have some choices – you can start from scratch with a blank page template or use a template your school’s Frog Admin has created, or you can click through to Frog Templates on the left-hand-side and choose one of the dozens of pre- created templates we have built.
It’s worth noting that sites created from templates are not fixed. Everything in any site can be changed. The Frog Templates are there as starting points only. You have complete control.
Once you’ve selected your template, for this video I’m going to select the Blank Template in My Templates, I click Next.
Now it’s time to name my site and if I choose, give my site a description. It’s not mandatory to have a description, but it can be useful when looking for sites later.
Do NOT click the Create Template checkbox. We’ll talk about this feature in a later video, so for now, it’s really important to remember NOT to click the box.
Once you’ve given your site a name, you can either click Create or Next.
If you choose Next, you get to specify the theme and site icon, however you can also do this during editing. We can add tags on the next screen, but you get the opportunity to do this when you’re sharing, so for now, we’ll leave these two screens and just choose Create.
At this point, the wizard closes and your new site opens.
Ready for us to start editing.
Sites: Editing a site
To add resources, change the contents of a site, add pages or re-arrange the layout, we need to switch the site to editing mode. And we can do that by click the Edit button in the top-left-corner.
The Editing Pane slides open on the left. From the initial settings tab, I can change:
- the name of the site
- switch its theme
- add a background or top-banner image or colour
- change the site’s icon.
Themes are how a site looks. These are not templates – there is no layout controls – instead themes allow you to set an overall design for a site.
Most themes support background or banner images and background colours. These can further personalise a site.
Site icons show up in FrogDrive and with certain widgets – so a clear icon is a good way of identifying your site.
If we switch over the Page tab, you can:
- set the name of a page
- choose the page layout
- see some advanced options
We’ll cover these in a later video, for now though, let’s give our page a name (‘home page’) and set a layout.
Page Layouts provide active areas on a page where you can add widgets. For instance, by clicking on the 3 button and selecting one of the options, Frog creates three active areas on my page. I can change these layouts at any time.
Once you’ve chosen your layout, it’s time to look at adding widgets. We have separate videos explaining what each widget does, so for now, we’ll take a quick look at just 2 widgets.
Let’s start with adding some text. To do this, we scroll down the widgets tab to the Text widget. To add to a page, I just drop and drop the widget into an active area.
To edit the text, I click on the Sample Text – this disappears, and some standard text controls appear above the text box.
I can type as usual, change the size, highlight, make bold, set headings. I can paste from my clipboard, set bullet points. There are some other features here, but we’ll look at those in another video.
Now it’s time to add an image – I can do this in the text widget too, but I’m going to use the Media widget. Just like with the text widget, I’ll add this to the page, but when I click on it this time, not what happens to the editing pane. It switches to the settings tab, but this time, instead of seeing the site’s setting, I’m shown settings for the widget.
Here I can upload an image, audio file or video, find them from my FrogDrive if I have uploaded them previously or I can search Google for images and videos directly inside Frog.
Discover Search allows me to directly add images from around the internet without having to download them first. Once I’ve found an image or video I like, I just click Use.
Other widgets allow me to add files, set links to other websites, add polls, forms and quizzes. Rather than talk about these here, take a look at our widget guides.
At this point, I think it’s worth mentioning you should Save Changes often. Remember you’re editing via your internet browser. Connections can drop out, accidental refreshes and closing the browser can all cause you to lose work. Saving often is just sensible.
So far, what we’ve looked at is quite similar to creating a PowerPoint slide, and like adding another slide, we can add additional pages. We can add top level pages using the + links or if we hover over an existing page, we can add a subpage.
There are 3 levels of pages. Editing each page works the same as in the first example and using the copy page tool, you can duplicate existing pages.
There are lots of options and features we will look at for site editing, but these are the basics to get you started.
Sites: Sharing a site
When you create is site, it is automatically Private to you. In order to allow anyone else to see it, you need to Share the site using the link in the FrogBar.
When you click on Share, the sharing wizard opens. We have a number of options in here to do with copying the site as an assignment, or the current page in the same fashion and even duplicating your site for individuals in a group.
More on those in other videos. For now, we’re just going to look at the Share section.
This first section allows you to add tags and keywords. These can make it easy to find later, add your site to the matching area of FrogDrive and are particular useful for the Sites List widget, which can be set to display all sites matching a tag or keyword, creating an automatic menu.
This example site is a chemistry lesson. I’m going to tag it as such:
- I select Curricular in the drop down list
- Then Chemistry in the new drop down
- Then I click Add Tag
- Then in my Key Stage, I’m going to select Key Stage 3, as it’s a Year 7 lesson
- And hit Add Tag
- Finally, I’m going to add some relevant keywords. I can type as many as I like, using comma to separate them, and when I’m ready, I click Add Keyword
- Remember to click the Add buttons each time, otherwise the tags won’t be added.
- If I’ve added a tag or keyword by mistake, I just click the X link on the tag in question.
- Then I click Next
From this screen, I can see my site is Private. Clicking on the blue link, I see I have three options here:
- Public in School
- Public on the web
Private is useful if I don’t want anyone finding it by searching. I can still grant individuals access to the site, we’ll look at that in a moment.
Public in School means that any logged in user with the ability to search or open this site from a link (parents don’t have search), can view the site.
A good example of the differences between Private and Public in School would be the Staff dashboard should be private, but shared with staff, so that students and parents cannot see potentially confidential material. Whereas the student dashboard would be public, so everyone can see it.
There is also the option to make the site Public on the web. This means you don’t have to log in to view the site, which means that lots of Frog schools use Frog for their website, but it is also useful for additional websites, such as theatre performances, art galleries and community project work.
I’m going to make this site Public in School, by selecting it. I can change all these settings at any time.
At this point, I could click the Share button, the wizard will close and the site’s sharing access and tags updated.
Sharing in more detail
If I don’t click Share, I have the option of directing users to my site. I can search for any individual, group or profile and when I select one, I can choose how much access they have.
For instance, I’m going to set my class, 7A-DEM to have View access. This means they can see my site, but cannot interact with it.
I’m going to set a specific student, Andrew Andrewson to have Contribute access. This will allow Andrew the ability to send images from his FrogSnap app directly to the site, he will be able to post on any forums or walls and will be able to vote on any polls or complete any forms on the site. Contribute is probably the sharing setting you’ll use most often.
And I’m also going to give all my staff Edit and Manage rights. They may be using this site themselves, either with their own classes or as cover and may need to make a change. Edit and Manage rights gives them admin control over this site.
The final element of sharing is the Link to this Site section. This web address works whether or not the site is public on the web. For instance, if I want to send a colleague directly to this site, I can copy this address and email them. They’ll need to be logged into Frog first, but this link will still open the address.
It’s not exactly human-readable, but I can change that by clicking the Edit link. I now remove the long string of numbers and add my own link in here directly. Frog will run a check on the link to make sure no one else is using it and if it’s safe to use, I simply click Done. I can now copy this address and create a link to it, email it to someone, whatever I wish.
Once I’m done, I click the Share button and Frog takes care of the rest, including sending a Frog notification to the individuals letting them know and adding a link to their timeline.
Sites: Sites in FrogDrive
FrogDrive is your access to everything on Frog. Your school Frog admin may have set up direct links to areas on your dashboards, but FrogDrive allows you find them yourself.
To get started:
- Open FrogDrive
- Click on Sites
This will show you your sites. You have a search option here, allowing you to search for both your sites and any sites on Frog you have access to. For instance, if I search for % I can return all sites on Frog I’m allowed to see. I can search for site names and sites creators here.
Your school Frog admin has additional search abilities and can view any site or personal dashboard on Frog.
Underneath My Sites in the menu on the left, we have a series of titles, these correspond to the Tags categories you can add when sharing. In the Sharing video, we shared a site with the tag Chemistry. I can now click into the Curricular section and then click on the Chemistry icon and there is the site.
I can open any of these sites by double-clicking, but if I single-click in the My Sites section, it is highlighted in blue and if I now click the Action Cog, I can see I have options and shortcuts relevant to the site.
Sites: Deleting a site
At some point, you will wish to delete a site. To do so is straight-forward, but you should be warned, there is currently no recycle bin in Frog. Deleting a site is most likely permanent.
To delete a site:
- Find the site in FrogDrive.
- Single-click on it to select it.
- Click on the Action Cog
- Click on Delete in the menu
- A prompt will pop up, asking if you are sure.
- To confirm this, you need to enter your username. We added this step to prevent people from automatically checking a box and proceeding. Typing in your username is a useful moment of pause.
- When your username is correctly entered, the Delete button becomes available and you can click it.
- The site is then deleted along with any files uploaded to that site.
It is sometimes possible to retrieve deleted sites by Frog’s Service Desk team and it is also possible to restore your Frog from the overnight back-ups. Restoring however removes any changes made by anyone in school since the backup was made and can take several hours during which time Frog will not be useable in school.
In other words, think very carefully before you delete a site.
Sites: Printing a page
If you’re using Frog as a teaching resource and have you lesson plans on it, at some point you will need to print pages from Frog.
Due to Frog’s nature of being a single web page system, the browser’s print function can get confused. With this in mind, we have added the ability to print a page in Frog.
To print a page:
- Click on the Site menu in the top-left corner of the FrogBar
- Click Print Current Page
This sends just the information about the current page to the browser’s printer function and you can print from as you would with any other webpage.
Sites: Advanced page options
At some point, you’ll probably want to have more flexibility than we’ve shown you in basic page editing.
For instance, while you can set a different background image for each page, rather than having the same image on all of them.
In the Page tab in the Settings panel, you can do just that and quite a bit more. To change the background image for a page:
- Scroll down the Tab to the Toggle for Set Page Background
- Click it
- A new section appears allowing you to upload a background image.
- To undo this, simply click the Set Page Background toggle again.
You can go further than just the background though, you can change the entire theme in the same fashion.
If your page is on the top-level of the menu structure in your site, you are also presented with a direct link. You may need to save your site first, to see this link, but using this link you can direct users directly to this site and this page.
You might want to create a page, but not make it visible yet, or want to create your own site menu using the Text widget. If so, we have added the option to Hide page from menu. This means it and any subpages will not display in the site when viewing the site. The pages will reappear when editing that site.
The final option here is the Delete Page button. Be careful with this option. You can only undo deleting a page by not saving your changes when you close the editor. If you close the editor and save your changes, the page is gone forever. And of course, if you don’t save changes, any other edits you made will be lost.
In the Site Sharing video we discussed how you can share an entire site, but there may be times when you wish to hide part of a site for some users, such as with a lesson resource, you might have questions displaying on the whiteboard for students, but the answers only show for teachers.
Using Rules, you can do just that.
In the editing panel, for both Widget tab and in the Page tab, there is second tab, called Rules.
Using the options in here I can hide or show the page or widget and then add a Rule to show it to another group, or with a date check or if the user is logged in. In this example site, I’m going to hide this widget, so only staff can see it.
- I’ll set the toggle to be I want to Hide this widget
- Then I’ll click Add Rule
- Now, I can construct a rule using the dropdown, so I want to Show this widget When the user is in a group or profile.
- Now I search for the group or profile, in this case Staff.
- I’ll also add Admins too
- And then I click Add
- Now I can add a second condition, such as date, or I can leave it at this point, by clicking Apply
The Rule will be applied when I leave the editor. The same process works for pages and I can use the X button on the Rule when editing to remove the rule.
Sites: Presentation Mode
If you wish to present information to your users, whether they are students, teachers, parents or governors, without them being able to skip past sections, you should investigate using Presentation Mode when creating a site.
Presentation Mode hides the site’s menu from the end user, leaving only a progress bar. In order to move through the site, you have to click the Next button. You can go back and the progress bar will remember where the individual is up to,
To switch a site to presentation mode:
- Open the editing panel
- In the site settings tab, move the Display Mode switch over from Site to Presentation
You’ll notice in editing mode, the site navigation has returned. This allows you to make changes in the usual fashion.
The progress bar will work through the pages in order. That is to say that any subpages in the first menu item will appear first and then any in the second top menu item and their subpages.
Frog has a three tier menu system, so you can have up to three different levels of pages.
Using for independent study
There are currently no direct analytics within presentation mode to monitor progress, but you can use Polls, Forms and Quizzes within the pages to capture interaction. And you can use these tools to record how far through a presentation your users have progressed.