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!


  1. I think the use of technology in our classrooms and outside of our classrooms will positively impact our leaders of tomorrow! We should continuously migrate new technology alongside the textbook, until the textbook is no longer needed and the world itself becomes the classroom. Cheers my friend.

  2. I've personally never used Google+ but I've heard many great things about it. I believe if it attracts a huge following it will be another great way of using technology in the classroom. The example you mentioned of being able to connect with students via video conference from their own household is just amazing. We must put things like this to use. I enjoyed reading your article very much.

    Feel free to check out My Class Blog

  3. I myself have never used Google+ but I keep hearing wonderful things about it! I like your ideas of new studying habits in and outside of the classroom. I think that we as students do not utilize each other in the ways we should. Studying in the library can help, but I think that being in a familiar environment can help just as much, if not more. Just like you mentioned, being in a relaxed environment with peers makes studying or completing a project that much easier. Infact, that is how I study.
    Teachers should integrate these laid back habits in their classroom more. Students in college are under constant pressure and I think that the study habits you mentioned in your blog can really be beneficial!

  4. For universities, Google Plus can be a good thing. However, the age 18+ restriction is a deal-killer for the vast majority of k12.

  5. Hello Jenny. My name is Mary LaCoste, and I am one of Dr. Strange's EDM 310 students at the University of South Alabama. I must admit I have never checked out Google+, but I visited your profile page and found it to look much like Facebook. I do use Facebook regularly, but I may have to give Google+ a try. I think social networking sites are going to be something we see change, improve, and grow in the future. I do agree that these sites do have many benefits for the classroom teacher and students. I especially liked how you describe the "circles" or "hang outs". These types of open groups could be great for group projects or study groups. I think there are numerous possibilities when it comes to these kinds of sites and the field of education. Thanks for sharing the information on Google+. I enjoyed reading your blog. Please feel free to check out my class blog. Follow the link below.
    Visit my class blog

  6. Hello Jenny

    My name is Jason Jackson. I am a student of Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I may have been under the rock... I did not know of Google+ until reading your post, and I believe it would definitely be useful in the classroom. If anything, teachers could use Google+ to network and everything is all in one place. Just thinking of how many people use twitter, Skype, and other social networking mediums, it would seem to be much easier if it all could be done from one site.

  7. Hello Jenny,

    My name is Keiko Ito and I am a student of Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I enjoy reading your post. I heard about Google+ but I did not know what it is before reading your post. Google+ tools will help educators teach and help students learn when Google+ will be applied in the classroom. I think students can learn and understand more easily than public teaching system which I was taught and are interested in learning when teachers use Google+.

  8. Google+ is currently only open by invitation and no actual date for a full launch has yet been announced, but it's coming, because Google needs it.

    google followers

  9. Hello Jenny

    My name is Jeanette Kelley and I'm a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama.I enjoyed you blog post on Google +. I have never used it before and hopefully I plan on using it in the future. I heard of it recently but was not sure what it was until I read your post. But it sounds like another great tool for educators and students. I believe it will come in handy in the classrooms. It would be a good way for teachers to network with each other. I may have to give Google+ a try soon.

  10. Hello Jenny.

    I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I am so happy that I got assigned to read your blog this week. For our assignment this week we are actually assigned to use Google +. Before this class I had never heard of Google +. Since being in the EDM 310 class I have learned that you can do so much while using Google +. I plan on using Google + when I start my teaching career. Thanks so much for posting.

    Mckinley Kennedy

  11. Hi Jenny,
    I'm a student at the University of South Alabama and I really enjoyed reading this blog post. I am actually starting to learn how to use Google+ and for one of my assignments we have to use a tool that lets us communicate without meeting face-to-face and the hangout tool has been our favorite so far. Thanks for posting a very useful topic!

    -Emily Nadeau

  12. Hi Jenny.
    I think the idea of using any new type of technology in the classroom would be a great idea. I am a big fan of online classes so I think the hangout option is great. Have you had a chance to try this out in your classroom yet?

    -Ashlea Leytham
    EDM 310 University of South Alabama

  13. Hi Jenny, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I also find it interesting to witness what social networks have added to education. I have seen several teachers set up Facebook groups for their classes. I think social networks will only become more prevalent in education as time passes. Also check out my blog if you would like.

  14. Hi, Jenny, I am Sidney Jensen, a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I have had the pleasure of reading your posts and I am so excited that you are using technology in your classroom. I am also a member of Google Plus and I love the many features that are available. I think that the social networking capabilities are helping not only students but also professionals communicate new ideas and interact effectively and efficiently. The world is going to keep changing, and technology is playing a huge role in that. I look forward to that, too.

  15. Ms. She,

    I don't have a whole lot of personal experience with google plus, I use different applications for my social networking. I will say this, that google+ has been very beneficial in this EDM310 class. It allows us to meet only once a month and still keep in touch with each other, the lab assistants, and Dr. Strange. It has definitely been a learning experience and a pretty enjoyable one at that.

  16. Ms. She,
    I think it is incredible at all of the technology you are using in your classroom. Before taking EDM 310, I had never used Google+, but now I know that it is very helpful. It definitely saved those students a lot of travel time and money by using Google+. I definitely agree that this would be a valuable resource to use in the classroom. This would be an easy way to set up tutorial sessions without trying to find a universal place to meet, or your students could use this tool to communicate with each other. Not only will this tool be beneficial to students, but I think it will also be helpful to educators because it will allow them to talk with other professionals all over the world.


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