Some blame it for being a Facebook clone, but for me Google+ is way better than Facebook. The things we can do with it in education can not be done using Facebook. The purpose of this post is not to make a comparison between these two social networking services, but rather provide you with some ideas and tips on how to better integrate Google+ in your teaching.
Reasons why you should consider using Google Plus with your students
- Unlike Facebook and some other social networking websites, Google plus is not blocked in schools
- It has sophisticated features like Circles and Hangouts
- It does not have ads and provides a user friendly interface
- It provides unlimited storage through Picassa. You can post as many videos and pictures as you want.
- It provides high privacy measures. You can choose who can see your posts, pictures and your information. You can select from different levels of privacy to each section.
- You can easily edit your pictures after you have uploaded them. You can rotate, change the color and contrast and cross your photos.
- It integrates a YouTube search bar to enable users to search for YouTube videos without having to leave the page.
Some ideas on how to Use Google Plus with your students
This is one of the features I love the most in Google Plus. This is like Skype but better than it. Hangout provides users with a virtual space where they can meet , and hold discussions using both audio or video. It also allows up to 10 people to video chat with one another and for free. Users can easily invite whoever they want to join their chat using a simple generated URL. Hangouts are a great way for teachers to connect with their students and conduct video conferencing or even do tutoring online. It can also be used to invite guest speakers into the classroom
This is another great feature that teachers should capitalize on . You can for instance create a circle for your classroom and start sharing on it things related to that class. Additionally, you can create circles based on different categories and subject matters, like a circle for social studies class, or a circle for class announcements ...etc.
3- Google Plus for group work
You can guide your students on how to create their own circles and add members to it.They can then use these circles to work collaboratively with each group being able to see the live stream of the other. They can also chat and comment on their learning as they work in groups.