On Wednesday, September 9th, and Thursday September 10th, Barry Davis and I led Google Sites workshops for two sections of Dr. Marsh’s Biomechanics class. Each Fall these two Biomechanics classes are broken into groups that must conduct research and post their hypothesis, methods, results and more on the web. In the past this was an arduous project that required the students to not only master digital video, but also master Adobe Dreamweaver and the basics of good web design!

Now, thanks to Google Sites, which gives users 100MB of web space and an easy to use web interface for web design, the students taking Dr. Marsh’s Biomechanics class this Fall will have the opportunity to create their project as a Google Site rather than using Adobe Dreamweaver. The final hurdle to moving from Dreamweaver to Google Sites was crossed when Barry found a solution for posting Quicktime video using Google Gadgets!

Using Google Sites will allow these students to collaborate on the site, giving everyone the ability to post content. Additionally, students will be able to keep these sites active even after they graduate! Hopefully, the ease of Google Sites will also let them focus on the Biomechanics elements of the project rather than the web design! While some student organizations are now using Google Sites to make their pages easy to update, this project is the first academic use I’ve seen of Google Sites at WFU, but I’m sure it won’t be the last as we see more Google tools used in the classroom, and not just in Lib100!