Saturday, August 13, 2011

Would Google Plus be useful in the Classroom ?

For the past month, many of us have heard people around the world, raving about Google Plus--unless of course if you live below sea level or under the rock.  I have to admit that I joined Google Plus fairly early because I have friends who are very active in social networking.  And ever since,  my ride with Google Plus has been very pleasant.  I love it totally.  So far it has been just a social networking site where I interact with friends globally.

My views changed dramatically last Monday night when I over heard a family member having a "hang out" with her peers.  This family member is in her final year of completing her degree in Optometry at Auckland University.  There she was hanging out with her optometry classmates discussing about their assignments.  They were eight of them in the "hang out" and I could hear them talking and discussing about their topics and I could also hear them laughing at times assuming that one had given the wrong answer.  It reminded me of the tutorials that I used to attend when I was at university.  To me, this is just awesome, now people do not have to meet in a room in any particular time to hold any meeting.  The seemingly important "tutorials" can be held after hours outside the institutions.  Imagine how much bus fare or petrol money these students can save over a long period of time.  Needless to say there will no excuses like the bus never came or I have no money for the bus fare.

I came across an article while on Google Plus about the possible ways of using Google Plus in the classroom.  This article gave many useful tips about the ways that educators can use Google Plus.  I personally think that "Circles" and "hang out" would be of great value especially for the classroom.  The "circles" can be used to group the students and the "hang out"can used as a teaching and learning tool.  And of course, this is just the beginning of many good ideas to come!