Friday, July 01, 2011

First Thoughts on Google+

by Shelly Blake-Plock

So, in the category of "as if there weren't enough going on"... the arrival of the Google+ beta.

I have basically holed up in a small room for the last 48 hours attempting to figure out what this thing can do and what it can't do. First thoughts: it is not Facebook and it is not trying to be. Second: it is not Twitter and it is not trying to be. Third: it is not Wave, but it suggests that Google learned a ton from the relatively esoteric things people who gave it a chance were actually doing with Wave.

In short: this really is something different. What does it do? I don't know. What does it mean? Too early to say. Is it going to fail as hard as Wave? Dunno.

In the early estimate, what I can say is that the 'circles' feature around which + is based around offers new options in the ongoing conversation about public and private in social networks. The outcome of this chapter in the evolution of that conversation might be the most important thing to watch -- and the most important thing in terms of thinking what social tech integration means to the structure of classes, courses, schools, and classrooms.

More later, I'm headed back to my hole.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Baltimore, United States


  1. I think that this is going to be a wonderful education tool simply because it is not FB. First, Google+ makes the world of social networking smaller (i.e. groups), which makes it more conducive to education. Next, it really seems to foster collaboration (i.e. Huddle and video conf.). Finally, because it is Google maybe school districts will be less inclined to block it.

  2. @BruceSchwartz and anyone else afraid of Facebook... Facebook could be a wonderful education tool if you were willing to use it instead of worrying what "the admissions officers are going to read" or what you "next employer might see on it". Facebook is about communication. Education is about communication and Facebook is the way the majority of who we educate communicate with each other. Does not seem like rocket science to me....

  3. @Norman: I agree and disagree with your point. Yes, schools need to stop the fear of social networking. They need to draft a quality AUP and deal with offenders. However, Bruce's point is right on. The reality is that schools fear FB. So, his point is, maybe this tool could be a first step in reducing and ultimately eliminating fear and replacing it with excitement for what can be done with the collaborative web. I am in a district that has adopted Google Apps for Education. The district administration barely allowed student email accounts and then locked them down so they can only email teachers(of course they will get around that eventually!). They won't activate Google sites for students and won't active Blogger even for teachers! Really?!! The fear is there and real. So, maybe Google + can help with changing that since many schools are using Apps for Ed. and the admin has developed a trust for it. We'll see!

  4. Check out this link from Twitter.
    Five Interesting Ways to Use Google+ in Classroom

  5. I actually think each platform is becoming more and more alike. A circle is the same as a list (available on Twitter and Facebook). Sparks seem very similar to links (again available on both Twitter and Facebook). I like the notion of being able to send a status update to just one group - that part seems new. However, everything else seems to be more of the same.

    With that said, I really like Google Plus. I already like it more than Facebook. The UI is clean and easy to use and thus far there's no Farmville (an added bonus).

  6. @john if the things we did in class taught students as much about collaboration and getting along in the real world then we could complain about them....


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.