Going Google: Google Sites for Staff Engagement & Training


What are we doing?

At the beginning of this journey, back in January, we started posting resources for staff through a Google Classroom. These resources are Google for Education tutorials, CPD screencasts, links, articles etc. Essentially everything our staff will need to guide them in their use of the G Suite. However, we have now decided to launch a staff digital learning website, after Easter, that contains these resources using Google Sites.


Why are we doing it?

The Google Classroom for staff worked well in the beginning, however the volume of resources now means that a Google Classroom probably isn't the best place for staff to access. Google Classroom will work very well for a class, however the list view in Google Classroom means that staff have to trawl through a lot of posts to find what they need. Using a Google Site will allow staff to easily find resources, content can be embedded for ease of access and we can feature certain content on the homepage that we want staff to see.


What is the desired impact?

We hope that providing staff with the resources they need in a Google Site it will mean that they can find and access content fast, to eliminate wasted time. The site will also mean that staff can catch up on any missed CPD by watching the screencasts and using the other resources at their own pace. We will also embed a Google Form so that staff can share their good practice on the site by submitting blogs, videos or links. All of this will ultimately impact the learning of their students, by increasing outcomes. Not to mention reduce workload through use of the G Suite.


GIF from Jake Miller

How will the features of Google Sites help make this impact?

Google Sites will enable us to create a visually appealing platform that adapts to any device and links to the G Suite. The following features will help us share and collaborate with staff:

  • Embed code: This means we can embed our digital learning Twitter feed on the website. This will mean that the website is constantly updated whenever we tweet or retweet. This keeps the web page fresh and fresh web pages are proven to keep users coming back.

  • Embed videos: This will enable us to post YouTube tutorials and our own CPD screencasts, so that staff can watch within the webpage.

  • Embed G Suite files: G Suite files such as docs, sheets and slides can be embedded into the webpage. This feature means that whenever the file is updated, the update appears on the website. Again, this keeps the website fresh without having to actually update the website manually.

  • Embed a Google Form: We can collect feedback from staff from directly in the webpage, so staff don't have to open the form in another tab.

  • Subpages: These can be created for each page, allowing for simple organisation.

  • Search: Staff can search the site easily using the search icon. Making anything in the page easily accessible.

  • Drag and drop: Creating the website is very simple with the drag and drop functionality to move and insert components in the site. This will save time for those curating the content.

  • Collaborate: As with all G Suite tools the ability to collaborate in real time on creating and updating the site will be invaluable.

  • Publish Settings: These settings give the crucial option to only allow users within the school domain access to the website. This means all content will be private from public access.

Read other posts in this series about transforming a school with Google for Education:

#GoogleSites #Goinggoogle #GoogleforEducation #Websites #StaffTraining #Screencasts

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