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Course Description

EDUC 439/639: Google Sites in Education

Conceptual overview with hands-on tutorials for harnessing the educational potential of Google Sites. Explores the widespread adoption of Google Apps in schools and explains the business strategy behind Google's decision to make it freely available to schools and the general public. Identifies learning principles that guide the effective use of Google Sites to create Web pages that improve educational communication. Demonstrates how to use Google gadgets that enable you to embed on these pages a wide variety of media including word processed documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photo libraries, and videos. Just-in-time videos explain how to use Google tools that enable you to create announcements to which users can subscribe, file cabinets from which users can download documents, and lists to keep track of the status of things. The course begins by teaching participants how how to create a well designed website that can increase home-school communication. Second, you experience how students can use these tools to create webs that demonstrate student learning. Third, participants understand how to use multimedia to establish an authentic context for learning that makes your lessons more engaging. Fourth, you experience how teaching students to author makes their thinking visible, thereby enabling you to do a more effective job of diagnosing where they struggle and providing the scaffolding students need in order to succeed.

Course Modules

This course is organized into a series of modules that are presented to you via the Web. The modules are attached to a collabsible menu that organizes the modules in roughly the same order in which they will be discussed in class. You need not complete these modules in this prescribed order, however. Rather, you can work through the course at your own pace, skipping modules that do not interest you, and spending more time on those that do.


Your grade in this course will be based on your performance on a series of assignments that appear on this online syllabus. At any time, you can view the assignments. This list of assignments provides you with a snapshot of what you need to do in this course. All the rest is optional. It is totally up to you how much of the other material you will want to complete. Your instructor will help guide you, depending on the topics you choose to pursue.


You will receive grades on three kinds of activities. First, there are communication assignments that involve you in online discussions with your fellow classmates and your instructor. Second, you will blog about your thoughts and experiences as you explore the educational technology resources presented in this course. Third, you will begin creating a Web portfolio containing your plans for using technology to meet national standards, workplace needs, and/or professional development goals. These three parts of the course each constitute a third of your final grade.

Authoring Tools

The recommended authoring tool for use in this course is Google Sites, for which the course instructor has created a series of just-in-time videos that enable you to learn how to create effective Web sites using Google's tools. The videos are called "just-in-time" because you can view them any time of the day or night, whenever you need them for initial instruction or to review the procedures for doing something. The videos cover authoring concepts and strategies that you can learn as you need them.