TITLE OF DEVELOPING PRACTICE EXAMPLE
Google sites and IDL
Google sites and IDL
Google Sites is a web page-creation tool included as part of G-Suite and allows users to create websites to share information, links, documents and video. It offers great potential to create and develop school and websites. However, in schools, Google Sites provides all teachers with a tool to communicate ideas and facilitate collaborative working. Google Sites is not just for digital leads or administration, it is for everyone. If you create learning experiences.. this is for you.
In Tillicoultry Primary School, two classes began using Google Sites to create an online space for an Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL) topic during lockdown. With the ability to add collaborators to the site, it became clear than it was more than a place to communicate knowledge. It provided a place for staff to work collaboratively to build shared learning experiences.
Here are a number of Google Site examples created for IDL projects at Tillicoultry Primary School. These were developed collaboratively, and sites added to as the topics progressed. These sites acted as a resource hub and place to plan tasks/assignments.
The Mary Queen of Scots site was also expanded to include a virtual field trip for learners with pages of the site directing learners to the next step.
Mary Queen of Scots - https://sites.google.com/cl.glow.scot/maryqueenofscots/home
The Designers - https://sites.google.com/cl.glow.scot/tillydesigners/home
Google Sites also offer opportunities for creating online learning sessions for staff. The site can be set out to direct staff through pages and videos to create an online training session that could be used to communicate new initiatives.
The example of 'Online Learning' in the gallery was created to communicate different video platforms with staff. Staff were able to easily work through sections at their own speed and revisit the site at any time.
The first site created was for a Mary Queen of Scots topic. Created quickly from the range of templates available, it was then personalised and new pages added for what learners would be covering. It was at this point that discussions with stage partners agreed on dividing up the sections. Teachers working on ‘their’ sections of the Google Site and publishing to both classes on Google Classroom. Beyond lockdown and on return to school, Google Sites continued due to the number of benefits to teaching and learning.
How To Guide
Google Sites are simple to create. Templates and quick layouts make the process easy; and a basic knowledge of G Suite or Office tools will be enough to get started.
A video aimed specifically on how teachers could use the tool was created for staff at Tillicoultry Primary School.
There are a number of other Google Sites help videos online (see Useful Links below).
Collaboration across the school community is easy with Google Sites.
Create the Google Site in Google Drive then click on the ‘Share with others’ icon at the top of the page.
Google Sites Teacher Friendly Guide (created by K Scotland)
Getting Started with Google for Education Lesson 8 Google Sites
How to use Google Sites Video
Creating a Google Sites for each IDL topic has a number of benefits to teaching and learning.
Google Sites can also be easily duplicated so can be reused in future years.Links for the various IDL sites created throughout the year can also be shared with learners to build a learning story. Learners can also go back and revisit topic sites. The example below shows how the links are saved as materials in a section on Google Classroom.
Victoria Stephenson (James S's parent)
The topic sites help you to discuss the current topic with your child. It also assists when you can relate to things you might have in the house, or have knowledge about etc. It’s tricky for me to get my child to talk about school so this is an important tool for that.
Heather Simpson (Hope C's parent)
The topic sites really helped engage learning and open discussions. As a parent it helps me see what my child is learning and we can have discussions at home joining together their knowledge and ours to create a new view point.