Using Google+ To Improve Your Teaching
So many people already turn to Twitter to find out new things and develop their skills as a teacher – but what about Google+ the new social network from the search giant?
Helped by heavy cross promotion from Google’s other products Google+ is growing at a phenomenal rate, and it has a number of interesting features you can use to help you get fresh ideas on your teaching.
Get Circled Up
Many people use Twitter for developing a personal learning network, but arguably instead of a one size fits all network what you’re really looking for is a different network for a number of different aspects of your teaching life. If you’re a Maths teacher who’s also the Gifted and Talented co-ordinator you already have two very distinct audiences that you might want to ask different questions to.
This is where circles can be really helpful. It’s not a million miles away from the Twitter list funtionality, except that it’s a lot more intuitive to build the list and you can publish posts to the list alone. So now you can have a PLN for every side of your teaching life!
Add New Users to Build Your Network
Just as with Twitter you’ll need to start adding users in order to get some meaningful interactions going – it’s not much fun chatting in an echo chamber. So get searching! We’re trying to build a broad circle of educators on our Google+ page at the moment so why not drop by our page and check out our shared circle of educators on Google+. Whilst you’re there add us to one of your circles and we’ll pop you in our educators one!
If #Edchat is a Conference Hall Hangouts are a Classroom
#Edchat and #Ukedchat can be a bit mad. Sitting there with your special Twitter client as the tweets build up and up slightly reminds me of a dream I have where the work keeps piling and piling up. Hangouts in Google+ offers an altogether different experience – a series of video chat rooms with up to 12 people on any given topic. It’s a less furious style of debate, but one that can be more suited to exploring the deeper issues. As Google+ grows I think that hangouts will increasingly become a place where like minded teachers can get together and instantly chat teaching.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, head over to Google+ or better yet drop by our page. Things are a bit quiet there at the moment, but as we build up a bigger circle I’m sure there’ll be plenty to talk about!
This post is part of the #Edtech blog carnival! Check out this post to see some of the other submitted pieces!