Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Journal 6 - Google+: The complete guide/Educators - Google Plus is for you

Parr, B. (2011, July 16). Google+: The complete guide. Retrieved from
The article  Google+: The complete guide, by Ben Parr gives a thorough description and explanation of Google+ and how it works.  The author starts off by stating that he the article is not meant to promote Google+, but merely to answer the question, "why would anyone want to use Google+."  Parr does just that.  Much of the article is comparing Google+ features to Facebook features, which is appropriate enough since just about everyone has a Facebook and is using it as a benchmark anyway.  Parr goes on to breakdown the different aspects of Google+ and describe their purpose, what makes them unique, and how one would go about using them.  For example, he explains the concept of "circles," one of the defining features of Google+.  He compares this feature to following someone on Twitter (in that following someone doesn't require them to follow back) as well as Facebook (in that streams of information are shared with and received from one's circles).  The article is very detailed, and would be useful to anyone who is new to Google+ and not familiar with its ways of functioning. 

Q - How might Google+ be a better educational tool than some of the other popular social media networks?
A - One aspect that could make Google+ more educator-friendly is the ability to separate one's various social circles in the same account.  Educators often describe having to have more than one Facebook or Twitter account: one for their personal use and one they can share with the students and co-workers.  With Google+ those different groups can be easily separated without having to create a separate account.  With "circles," one can group certain people together (business associates, family, students, friends, ect.) and share information with only the desired circles.  This could allow educators to better connect with his or her students by having all of his or her contacts in one place. 

Brogan, C. (2011, Sept 30). Educators – Google Plus is for you. Retrieved from

The article Educators – Google Plus is for you, by Chris Brogan is written specifically for teachers and educators, and explains why Google+ is a great tool to use in the classroom.  In a step-by-step fashion, Brogan explains how to use the "circles" feature on Google+.  He also elaborates on the "hangout" feature of Google+, which is similar to a video-chat room, without the need for a specific invitation.  Brogan describes several different uses for "hangouts," such as virtual class time and accessibility to other educators on Google+ who can add to a class' educational experience.  With this article, Brogan clearly endorses the use of Google+ in the classroom, and encourages teachers and educators to utilize the tools it has to offer. 

Q - Could Google+ allow parents to be more involved in their children's classes and education?

A - Since Google+ is free, teachers could easily encourage parents to create accounts and be involved in the online portion of their children's classes.  Posting homework assignments and lessons online could give parents the opportunity to be more aware of what their child should be doing at home, and even make them better prepared to help their child.  


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