I’ve been trying to figure out where the next collaboration and meeting place would be for educators. Like the Old West, I’ve been feeling a bit advertising pushed on Twitter and as for FaceBook the Yogi line about it’s too crowded—no one goes there anymore is starting to fit. For a guy who began with AOL chat in it’s earliest stages, it seems the options for actual teacher collaboration are pretty much the same—just more people doing it outside the four walls. So, I was a bit leery of Google+, even though I’d been a Google user for a very long time. I had so much else going on, so it seemed to me Google+ would be just another thing to juggle, and heck, was there anything there for me beyond sharing thoughts about music, or video, or the latest TV program?
A few days ago, a friend, Peter Vogel (see Editor's Notes) gave me a small push by way of Twitter. Peter asked, “Are you using Google+?” And I pretty much said that I was studying the idea, but didn’t think there’d be anything for me there. I pretty much asked, “Why would I want to be there?”
What follows is our Twitter conversation, so if you haven’t tried Google+ you’ll see that it’s pretty easy to do. If you have a Google login, you’re all set, and if you don’t, create one. You’ll find it here: https://plus.google.com/. And if you know Google, things don’t remain constant for long, so something new from them is probably going to happen… soon. Jump in, create some education and education tech circles. Maybe it’s the next place for us to gather and share—outside the faculty room, or passing in the hall.
KR: Peter, any problems with Google+ and why would I go there?
PV: No, no problems with G+ whatsoever. The environment is terrific. I suggest it is perfect for someone like you with lots to share.
PV: You are a blogger. G+ is a natural fit for you. I enjoy writing, but somewhere between a tweet and full-on blogging.
PV: Grab an "instant circle" of several hundred educators and you'll find the stream is instantly alive. The threading is superb.
PV: Have you filled out profile and added a photo/avatar?
PV: Have you added that circle? Keep it as a separate circle so you can edit it later. Don't make it "general". These should all be pretty good.
KR: Actually created an Education circle after sticking everyone into a friends one. Dragged 8 there to start. Still figuring this out.
KR: Which is another way of saying that I haven't a clue yet. ;>)
PV: That's OK. Just add my circle. You should see the message from me. Then add that circle. You've already added me so you seeing my traffic.
PV: Make a posting Ken. Anything. About a camera etc. Include a link to see how G+ handles them. Make posting "public."
KR: Cool. Thanks Teach!
KR: Peter. I've posted a comment. You have at least one person in your circle I'd rather not add. What's the work around there?
PV: Right, you just drop them from the circle once you've added it and they are gone.
PV: The list is reasonably well but not perfectly vetted.
PV: Good, you've added the circle. Now for the profile statements and you are good to go.
KR: You're right, this is quite cool, and may be something for sure. Read some feeds.
My Google+ Mentor and Friend:
Peter Vogel, Vancouver BC, Canada
Vogel is an ICT/Physics teacher, lifelong learner, Internet/tech newspaper columnist, Network admin, PM & Premier's SciTech, CAP 2011 winner. CERN HST 2011. G+ user
Peter’s works primarily in the area of Information Technology (ICT) with a focus on classroom applications, and in physics. Following a one month stay at CERN and the Large Hadron Collider , he developed an interest in particle physics. Peter is very active on Twitter (http://twitter.com/petervogel) and maintains various web sites and other online publications. Here’s an example, check it out if you enjoy student balsa wood constructions: http://www.balsabridge.com/