Some thoughts on Google+ in the Online Classroom

Just a collection of my first-order reflections on Google+ considering what little I know thus far...

Biases:

  • Focusing on higher ed

  • Within higher ed, online courses

  • Disregarding attempts to use Facebook/other social media in the online/college classroom


Simple Ways Google+ Could be Used:

  • Create Circles for each course being taught

  • Within that, create circles for each group within a course

  • Depending on how crazy this could get, you could even have circles for each individual student for mini-help sessions or ongoing dialogues

  • Create Circles for collaborative research (student/advisor, postdoc/PI, etc.) to make sharing easier

  • Utilizing Huddle on the Google+ Mobile Apps, help students take coursework, collaboration, and announcements on the go

  • Hangouts could become the new Virtual Office hours... and depending on how many people it can support it could also facilitate synchronous class meetings

  • For a twist on assignments, students could use the quick photo upload feature to post and share pictures for an assignment or project

  • I'm not 100% sure how Sparks could be use as a whole class unless you required everyone to have the same sparks... but I'm sure it can be used in some way...


Concerns:

  • What will Google+ look like given how many universities are already Google Apps subscribers?

  • How do you ensure every student joins (and is able to get an Invite to) Google+ considering the lack of invites?

  • How will this new tool occur for students?

  • What limits that might not be able to be seen now exist?

  • What can be learned from other social networks with regards to utilizing these tools in educational settings?

  • Would this be considered a standalone tool?  Or is it best integrated into using other tools?

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