Google+/- (Thoughts on Google+ in Education)

July 12, 2011 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

As an educator, I’m intrigued by the potential of Google+, specifically the use of circles and individual streams.  I like the ability to assign people to a specific circle with a specific purpose; I especially like that ability to post specific items and information to specific circles – by choosing which circle that information gets posted to (unlike FaceBook in which you specify what is seen by whom, I like G+ in which you define who sees what).

I already have a circle that is specific to my RRU cohort, and in my mind will be used by to post all information and whatnot related to technology and education.  But therein lies a problem – I know what MY circle is to be used for, but the people from my cohort may not.  It may be a fellow student is in my “RRU” circle with a specific purpose, but I may be in their “Friends” circle and subject to all their random posts about movies, food and other non-relevant topics regarding my circle.  I suppose I could edit my description of the circle, and hope those that I ask to join read and respect the purpose of the circle.  One solution (although it may be more complex than it seems at the moment) would be for Google to offer users the ability to form a group circle or individual circle.  Example:

I ask Joe Public to join my RRU circle, clearly stating in the definition that it is for the posting and discussion of issues relevant to technology, learning and education.  I choose to make my circle a group circle – that is when Joe Public joins my circle – he gains a circle called “RRU” in which both he and I are members.  Much like FaceBook groups, I could then authorize him as an “admin” or simple “member” – with “admin” having the rights to extend invitation to people and moderate postings.  Further, Google could make the circle open or closed (still public though, keeping in line with the intention of Google+) where people can either join at will, or make a request of the admins to become a member.

It will be interesting to see where Google goes with circles; to me they seem far more versatile, useful, and have more potential than anything FaceBook has.  That viewpoint is probably due to the simplicity of circles at the moment compared to the complexity involved in FaceBook groups, although the latter is more powerful at the moment… Is it possible to create something that has the effect of groups yet the ease of use of circles – grouples anyone?


Entry filed under: Professional Development & Insight. Tags: , , , .

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