Gmail, Google Docs(Drive) and Google Sites Video Help for Students

There are now several Video help pages, and more to be added, for Gmail and the suite of apps we use in school. The children from year 2 (soon to be year 3) will have their portfolios for sharing and displaying work they have done via ICT.

All Video help is available here:

Gmail first time log in (only really apporopriate for our school although you could use it if you downloand and edit yourselves).

Google Docs, soon to be Google Drive.

Google Sites- online portfolios for children with personal pages too.

There will be a series for Google calendar as we will be arranging home work and other events the children need to subsribe to in Year 5 and 6. 

Tips on Making Google Mail, Sites for Primary School Children, their Parents and Class Teachers

The downloads here are the spoken ideas and what I would probably changeif I was to set up the Gmail accounts again. If you're a teacher and wish to set up Gmail accounts for your class then the advice I talk about here could come in handy.


1. Gmail and Google sites part 1 - setting up, templates, owners and invites

2. Gmail and Google sites part 1 - settings, web links

3. Gmail for Parents and Teachers - ownership

4. Gmail for Students - settings, chat, contacts, policing

5. Gmail for the Teacher - settings, homework, interaction

PB Works (formerly PBwiki) Upgrade

PBwiki was a great tool when it first appeared several years ago. The site though was overtaken (in my opinion) by the simple features of Gmail and the Google sites accompanying it. Why? Well, from a school's perspective we needed some kind of security and the way the Gmail can be governed and modified to suit the children's and Teacher's needs far out weighed that of PBworks. It was super easy to use and that is what appeals to teachers.

Now PBworks has had an upgrade and I like the functionality of it. From top level primary school I can immediately see the potential for homework discussions where projects need the input of several collaborators. The problem with chat in Google docs is that if one person doesn't have Gtalk or can't use it for some reason then then typing has to do or use an alternative - Skype? But for the same issues the person may not be able to install, say, on a school laptop. So, if school pays into this then the below snippet from Tech Crunch might supply a ready answer. I like the sound of it all - but how much does this cost?

Collaboration Platform PBWorks Gets A Real-Time Makeover


The startup has steadily added innovative, real-time features to its platform, most recently integrating Twitter-like microblogging.

Today, PBworks is entering the stream by adding real-time functionality and voice collaboration within the application. PBWorks is adding four new features to its suite:

Instant Messaging

The startup is adding IM functionality to the application, which looks and operates just like Gchat. The platform allows PBWorks users in their organization to send them instant messages from within the product. Users can also request for co-workers to look at the workspace page they’re working on using the “send a link” function built into the IM system.

Live Notifications

Similar to notifications in a Facebook stream, PBWorks is adding Live Notifications alerts, which lets users know the different activity within their organization in real-time. Users can select which notifications they want to receive, based on their preferences (known as “starring” or “following” particular pages), and the system will stream relevant notifications to whatever page a user is viewing. The notifications provide a link to whatever the employee is working on.

Live Editing

PBWorks is now upgrading its collaboration features by adding a the ability for users to share a PBworks editing session. So whenever a user is editing a workspace page, other users viewing that page see the edits appear in real-time as well as participate in edits.

Voice Collaboration

Conference calls are a daily part of any business’s day-to-day operations and PBWorks is now allowing this to take place within its application. Users can initiate an instant conference call by dialing several participants at the same time. Each conference call is recorded and stored for later review, which is an extremely useful feature. Voice Collaboration can even be triggered via PBWorks using an iPhone.

PBworks, which had an overhaul of its user interface and features last year, offers businesses with a project management application and a customized wiki workspace, with mobile support, document management, access controls and more. The incorporation of real-time functionality as a natural extension of PBWorks makes the platform a whole lot more attractive, as more and more enterprise-focused startups are adding real-time features to applications. So if a user is editing a page and realizes that he or she needs the input of other team members, the user can request fellow employees to join the appropriate page using IM Collaboration, start a Live Editing session, and use Voice Collaboration to initiate an instant conference call.