Posts Tagged ‘google sites’

Why Google Sites Works For Our Schools?

September 25, 2010 5 comments

It is obvious Google Sites will never be a Dreamweaver design platform. It is also obvious Google Sites will never be robust as a wikispaces or pbworks.  What Google Sites does provide is a practical and simple communication platform to disseminate information quickly, either as an internal site or external site within our Google Apps for Education domain. Giving our teachers and staff choices to build sites either as private and public websites allows flexibility in how they decide to roll out information. We have adopted a model where the teachers create classroom web pages as public external sites, while also building internal school sites that share resources and information across the seven academies. The other advantages to the Google Site system is the ability to embed all our shared internal calendars and lesson plans shared on Google Docs. While any software program requires professional development to maximize use, Google Sites is a program that requires less than half a day of training. You can quickly deploy Google Sites to provide a central repository for all your school’s information, public or private. We now have internal Google Sites managed by various staff and teachers providing information from Human Resources to our parent/community collaborative website. While we will never reach CSS status on Google Sites, we will however get content out across our seven academies and community in a timely and effective manner. Did I also say I don’t manage any web servers and pay for all of this…

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Standards Management System (SMS)

March 10, 2010 1 comment

Like it or not, state standards are here to stay, and finding solutions to help our schools is a burgeoning topic in education information technology. There are several solutions on the market that offer standards data assessment solutions such as Data Director, Edusoft, and NWEA. Data driven assessments are then used to drive instruction in hopes to master standards. Although these solutions are great for assessment, I am finding the need for a content management system that will provide resources and content on state standards. Bridging the data from a SMS to resources on a CMS is the challenge I am looking to design.

In lieu of a solution that I have yet to find, I think that Google Apps Education along with the social concept of crowdsourcing might be the solution I am looking for. In this particular case, I want to leverage the knowledge database of our practicing teachers. Using Google Sites and Google Docs, I want to create a CMS focused solely on standards. I want to have a system that will have a dedicated page for every state standard. For example, Geometry standard 9.0 will have a wiki page dedicated on resources, lessons, and discussions. It will be an evolving wiki that is generated by the hard working teachers fighting in the trenches. I am still formulating the social culture of the wiki, but at its foundation, it should provide teachers best practices on how to achieve mastery of a specific standard. Eventually, I dream to grow this evolving CMS for every teacher in California to use someday.

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