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Using Google Sites and Google Docs

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Started by anne robertson 05 Apr 2013 4:08pm () Replies (13)

I have been trialling using a Google Site this term with a Yr 10 Language Class as a Virtual Classroom as well as to build student portfolios for speaking and writing activities.  We also use Google Docs for drafting writing and feedback which has been very successful.  However, I was wondering if anyone else has used a Google Site with classes and how it has worked for them.


  • John Graves (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 4:24pm ()

    It seems over 400 people want to know the same thing! A new Google+ community was launched as an experiment 23 February 2013 called "Using Google Apps as a Free LMS: Crowdsourced Resources for Educators" and folks have been signing up at the rate of a dozen a day.

    The group aims to share any and all experiences relating to the use of the Google Apps tools, including Google Sites. There is a spreadsheet which organizes the flow/creation of materials, including course templates. Very short presentations with associated check lists are being developed to help with professional development, such as this one on adding a Google Group to a Google Site. An overview with links (a "map" of the knowledge domain) has also been started. Come join the fun!

  • Rebecca Ronald (View all users posts) 06 Apr 2013 6:35pm ()

    I use google sites as a place to store course resources and share them with students. Also to keep all my resources together for when I need them and am away from my laptop. I fibe gsites very useful and easy to use.

  • Terry Hokianga (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 7:33am ()

    Not so much using Google Docs for class room activities but for teacher information purposes and those administrative matters. With the skill level amongst all staff improving i guess it will not be too long before student use becomes a reality.

  • anne robertson (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 9:51am ()

    Thanks for that link, John.  have now joined the group.  Looks like there coulkd be some really sueful discussions and resources.

  • Jacinda Panther (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 10:46am ()

    I have just started using google docs, sites etc etc with my class and school. Here is the site I have made. Some links won't work because of sharing but have a look. Any feedback would be welcome!


    I have given 8 of my kids their google logins and they have begun using docs and blogger. Hopefully next term I will intro another 8 kids but it is very time consuming.. Any hints or tips to manage? We don't have the teacher dashboard yet but may ask if I can trial that next term.

  • Brad Thomas (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 11:58am ()

    Hi Jacinda, are you finding setting the students up to use google docs time consuming or keeping track of the work that the students are doing time consuming? or both?

    If you are using google docs as a school then one option you could look at is to apply for a google apps for education acount. It's free for schools. That way you can bulk upload users, class by class, with automatically generated  passwords and the students will also then automatically have access to any sites created in that education account. You can also allow different pages in your site to have restricted access.

    I think google forms which is part of the google service are really under utilised.

    You can use google forms in conjuction with google docs/presentations etc as a way of monitoring students' work.

    Step 1: Each student creates a shared folder in their google drive with their teacher,  so that any work that is put into this folder is automatically shared with their teacher. You could create a series of subfolders for different subjects/curriculum areas within the main folder. They will all be shared with the teacher as long as the top level folder has been shared. 

    Step 2: Create a google form and design it to look appropriately for a place for students to hand in work. You can create drop down boxes for students to select the right thing. Eg they could select weekly homework, formal assessment etc

    Step 3: Embed the form into your site, (you can make a specific tab for this). Embedding is easy, in your site you just go to file/select embed form and choose the correct one. The great thing about an embedded form is that anyone can fill them in. The form doesn't have to have been shared with the user. 

    Step 4:  When students want to hand in a piece of work they have created or uploaded into their google drive, they:

    a) place the work into their shared folder

    b) copy the url link from the url box at the top of the page.

    c)  open the google site, fill in the embedded form with their personal details and assignment/homwwork details and paste the url of their doc into the correct box in the form.

    Step 4: The teacher opens the spreadsheet in their google drive that is updated every time a student fills in the google form. (This spreadsheet is automatically created when you make a new form) The teacher can see all the students links and can click on the link to take them to the students work.

    You can do a filter on the spreadsheet to take you to a specific students work or a specific assignment/ piece of homework etc.

    By the end of the year, you will have a complete record/link to all of the students work and because it is cloud based you can access it from wherever you are, home/school/on the busCool

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 12:05pm ()

    Here is a link to an earlier discussion, on curating info and resources, where I shared how I have used google presentations to create digital kits.

    My instructions on how to create a digital kit

    and an example for you to view and download.

    : )


  • Jacinda Panther (View all users posts) 08 Apr 2013 12:10pm ()

    Wow! Thanks. I have just got the 8 children to creat shared folders which is already alot easier! 

    I have created forms for reading and maths homework already which we have shared with our Syndicate. Will try embedding them. 

  • Ruth Soper (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2013 9:26am ()

    Our health school is using Google Apps for Ed tools and am following these conversations with interest.  We have been using, collaborating and sharing with Google Drive and Sites as a staff (because we are South Is wide) and I have students sharing docs with me but not to the extent outlined by Brad.  I rely on my students creating their own google account as they come and go off our roll as they recover.  Some embrace it but I need to use a tuition tool that teaches them about their google account so that my precious facetoface time with them is not taken up with it.

  • John Graves (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2013 11:09am ()

    I posted Jacinda Panther's Google Sites link in the Using Google Apps as a Free LMS community to solicit feedback (and probably make people there jealous!). The group has been holding weekly community meetings On Air, attracting educators from around the globe.

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2013 8:07pm ()

    John Graves has cleverly added spoken text to my slides using slidespeech.

    He says "I've just gone through and added a sentence or two in the speaker notes of each slide of your presentation and then run it through SlideSpeech, which reads out those speaker notes, delivering your presentation for you!  Students can do this too!"

    Here is the link to PLAY the presentation:


    What a great way to enhance a resource and make it easier to access the information.

    Thanks John!

  • John Graves (View all users posts) 10 Apr 2013 11:47am ()

    You are very welcome. I hope everyone can learn to do this, just as we've all become accustomed to using Twitter. SlideSpeech is really just a kind of "talking Twitter". You don't want to put too much text under your slides or people get bored -- fast! -- but it is amazing what one spoken sentence can do to focus attention on something -- also fast!

    Combining searchable question and answer tools with these multimedia answers could be very powerful. Please watch and respond to this presentation which invites everyone to join in creating an Education Technology Q&A website on StackExchange: 


    (Apologies for multiple postings. This is a call to action for a global community building initiative.)

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.