Getting Started With Google+ Communities

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On Google+, you have the ability to manipulate your circles to control the groups of people you want to receive information and content from, but there’s no guarantee those  users will circle you to receive your updates.

This is where Google+ Communities come in, Google’s version of a group or forum, built to bring people together around particular topics. Launched in December, the types of Communities available to the Google+ audience seem endless — ranging from scienceanimalsdevelopment and more.

Communities are places where users can share specific questions, comments or content relating to a particular topic with other users who are just as interested in the conversation. For example, if you’re a member of a cooking community, it’s likely each post will contain something related to food. And if there is a user who is posting content unrelated to the chosen topic, a moderator could step in and police that person.

Where to Start Continue reading

Ideas For Using Google+ Hangouts In the Classroom

Google_Hangout_Logo_128x128Google is trying to revolutionize the online social world, and it might just succeed. One of the features built into the network is something called “Hangouts”. We want to share a few thoughts on how we think Hangouts might be beneficial  in your classroom.

A Hangout is, essentially, a video chat room for up 10 people. When starting your hangout you can choose your different circles of friends or colleagues to hangout with. It then opens the room and allows anyone from your selected circles to join in the hangout, up to 10 people at once. As long as there are 2 people in the hangout, it will remain open. In other words it isn’t hosted or owned by the creator, which allows the conversation to move and evolve in a real fashion and less constrained by the tool. Although video chatting isn’t new, this concept of a hangout is a giant leap forward.

At Friends’ Central, we have not enabled Google+ for students yet so if you want to try using Hangouts with your students, they would have to have set up personal Google+ accounts. In the future, students may have the ability to use Google+ with their FCS Google accounts.

Here are some ideas you could try to get started using Hangouts with your students. Continue reading