Google has announced that its social networking site Google+ is now public and open to anyone (no invitation required). So Google+ can now be used as a tool to support teaching and learning. Key Features of the SNS
Circles: allows you to categories your followers (for example: friends, family, colleagues, students, classes) you can then share information with certain ‘circles’.
- This is good for teachers as they can create a class circle and share information: media, links, documents only with their students. Student will not be able to see information shared with other circles.
- Students can create study group circles to support each other’s learning
Hangouts: allows up to 10 people to video chat with one another. You can invite specific people to join a Hangout with you, although it’s worth noting that anyone who joins can in turn share the Hangout’s URL and invite others. As being in a Hangout appears in all the participants’ Streams, it does mean that these are public gatherings. Google’s Hangout technology recognizes who is speaking during a session and that person’s image takes the “big screen” while other participants appear in small tiles below. Hangouts is a way for other Google+ users to connect in real time using their phone’s front-facing camera.
- Guest Speaker
- Teacher access to student in remote locations
- Group discussion or project collaboration
Mobile App: Google+ has a mobile app that can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. Great for mobile learners. However at the moment the Hangouts feature is only available on Android-based smartphones with the same functionality expected soon on the iPhone.
- ability to learn any time, anywhere
+1: +1 is Google’s version of the Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, the +1 is stored in your profile page , you can show your +1’s tab publicly or choose to hide it. +1 can be shared with specific circles. they also become a factor into Google’s search algorithm.
- Teachers can good resources, websites, links with students
- Students can also contribute great resources to class circles
- A place to store and manage your favourite sites
useful resource: 21 ways to use google+ to support learning