Designing Online Learning Spaces using Google Sites

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The Horizon Report 2013 refers to the Stephen Downes and George Siemens’ term Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the idea that knowledge production rather than consumption is what drives and connects learners in MOOCs. Our challenge as educators, facilitating learning experiences in online spaces, is to keep transforming the way learners learn.

In facilitating online learning that extends the face-to-face classroom teaching in secondary schools and allows students to connect with each other anytime, anywhere, I have used Google Sites as an online classroom. In this space, students can be authors of their work, collaborators and creators of new ideas. They can communicate with their teachers and peers and negotiate learning to suit their learning pace and style.

In this one space, any course content can be delivered to students and created by students in a variety of ways, such as video (embedding You Tube clips), written work (collaborative writing), real-time feedback, individulised pages where access can be given to specific individuals if / when needed, embedded discussion forums – where students can discuss in allocated groups or as a whole class, or even collaborate with students from  other schools.

These learning opportunities allow students to be self-directed and work in teams, work collaboratively, rather than solely cooperatively, and ideally, become life-long learners.

Some ideas on how you might approach designing online learning spaces using Google Sites are presented below. Please feel free to contribute to this presentation by adding a new slide with your ideas and ways you may approach your online classroom design.

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4 thoughts on “Designing Online Learning Spaces using Google Sites

  1. Hi I love the transparency and accessibility it offers students. I can easily see see it being tailored to suit any year complete with personal reflection and unit assessment criteria. I think it’s a great tool for earlier years and the students whom have a habit of loosing everything (so couldn’t do the work). Im thinking providing students with self reflective checklist would encourage students to be further taking responsibility for their own learning.

  2. My last practical experience was the first time i was introduced to moodle, i saw the benefits of an online learning space not just for me as a teacher wanting students to have all the information they require, but for the students to have the responsibility of their own learning- having to mark other’s work online, engaging in discussion sessions and uploading video tutorials- all easily accessible to students. Looking at this article, the learning spaces google can provide are a great tool for students to actively engage in their own learning. I think its great that this tool can be altered to suit the diverse KLA’S and its organisational system allows for students to be in control of their learning and have the responsibility to complete tasks on time. I guess the main focus with these learning spaces is to be constantly aware of how this information is engaging and meaningful to students, how can students utilise this learning space so that they are getting something out of it, not just uploading work, but engaging in the learning process.

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