E-learning in Social Studies
Ideas and strategies for using Google Sites and
Director of e-learning
Epsom Girls Grammar School
On completion of this workshop you will be
Recognise the benefits and potential uses for
Google sites and blogs to support teaching and
Create your own class site using Google sites
Create your own blog using Blogger
Structuring the learning
environments at EGGS
This is facilitated by the department
as a whole. This is used as the home
page for entire subjects. This is where
you post common course outlines,
handouts and exam information.
Each class/teacher will be given a
page (course) of their own.
Google site (or wiki)
This run by the individual teacher as an online
community for their specific class. This is where
you could post resources and links specific to
what you class is doing.
This is where you would also post links to
student blogs of they were going to be shared.
This is where you might embed other Google
apps such as calendars for tasks and
assessments, forms and slideshows.
This is the place for student’s public, published
writing. This is set up and run by the individual
This is attached to the class Google site by a
hyperlink (which allows for easy access by
teachers and other students).
(a student can set up as many different blogs
as they need under using the Google login)
This is the place for student’s personal writing and notes.
Students who choose to do class notes and pre-
publishes writing may work in Google docs.
This will remain private, except for sharing with the
teacher which allows the teacher to check in and provide
Students may also share individual document s with other
to work collaboratively
(teachers can check who contributed what in a click of a
How to set up a Google site
Once you've signed in to your Google Account, you can start creating your site.
Click the Create site button.
Enter your site name and the URL where it will be located (for example,
sites.google.com/site/yoursite) as well as an optional description of the site. The
name and URL you choose can't be changed after you create your site, or used
again if the site is deleted.
Select the appropriate checkbox if your site contains mature material.
Select one of these sharing options: 'Everyone in the world can view this site' or
'Only people I specify can view this site.'
Pick a theme for your site.
Enter the wavy characters in the word verification section, and click the Create
How to add a page
Now that you've created your site, you can create a new page
by clicking the Create page button.
Then, name the new page and select the type of page you
want: webpage, dashboard, announcement, file cabinet, or list.
After you've selected where you want to locate the page, click
the Create Page button at the bottom of the page.
Ideas for using your site
Use it for posting up resources
Providing hyperlinks to useful websites
Embed Google calendars (students can sign up for free
Create online quizzes, gather student voice, feedback by
embedding a google form
Create a virtual knowledge wall
Create a parent portal
Support and extension exercises
Give students editing rights and get them to manage it!
How to set up a blog
To get started with Blogger, visit www.blogger.com, enter
your username and password, and click Sign in. Enter a
display name and accept Blogger's Terms of Service.
Then click the Create a Blog link and get started!
(Tip: Use your normal email address, not your Google
Pick a name and address (URL) for your blog. Then,
choose your favorite template (this is how your blog will
look when you publish it). Now get creative, add
information to your personal profile, and customize how
your blog looks, if you feel up to it. Start blogging now!
Writing a post
Once you've signed in to Blogger, you'll see your dashboard
with your list of blogs. Here's what you need to do:
Click the NEW POST button and enter anything you want to
share with the world.
Next, you'll see the Create New Post page. Start by giving your
post a title (optional), then enter the post itself:
Preview and Publish!
When you're done, click the Preview
link to make sure it's ready to go:
Once you're satisfied with your post,
click the Publish button. This will
publish your new post.
Ideas for using a blog
Creating online Study Guides
Reflective blogs on the learning
How I used blogs and a website
Benefits for teachers
Links to the NZC
Those students who completed the
formal writing practice online, received
their feedback as online comments
Topics were posted on the class wiki
with hyperlinks to other resources
such as newspaper articles and video
clips about their topic
Students who chose to write their
essays as blogs were:
More likely to meet deadlines
More like to act upon feedback/next
More likely to read one another’s work
Other positive feedback from the
Like that they often got quick feedback
Like that they built up an “online
portfolio” of writing
Like that the could use spell check and
easily fix errors
Liked the sense of a public presence
and that they had an audience
The lack of easy access to computers
Blog sites are often blocked in school
Not all students have internet access
or computers at home
Students not practising writing quickly
Have the wiki and framework set up in
If possible unblock useful sites
Teach students how to give each other
feedback (this was something I thought
would happen naturally but didn’t)
Use blogging sites that allow you to “follow”
students so you are alerted when new blogs
Don’t assume students are young and
therefore internet savvy
Benefits for the teacher
Lightens your paper load – can’t misplace
Quicker to assess and feedback – comment
format discourages too many comments
and encourages you to focus on next steps
Easily accessed at all times
Resources and framework can be used
again and again
Encourages students to be more
Easy to track student progress (or lack of…)
The main links are:
encourage reflective thought and
facilitate shared learning
provide sufficient opportunities to
Links to the NZC
Links to the NZC
using language, symbols, and texts
relating to others
participating and contributing