Hello, Flea here, taking over the post for Week 3
This week we’re going to explore Google+, a social networking site where you can share content, like Facebook, but which gives you access to more tools. This will involve creating a Google account, adding some Profile details and joining the LD5D Community.
Google isn’t just for searching anymore! Having a Google account gives you access to a range of tools, many ‘in the Cloud’, meaning they are web-based so accessible from any computer or mobile device providing you have an internet connection.
Tools that could facilitate collaborative learning include:
Drive – similar to Microsoft Office with documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations
YouTube – upload and share videos via your own channel
Google+ – a social network like Facebook enabling the sharing of text, pictures, videos and links and organsing events. It includes
Communities – groups so that sharing can be targeted around a specific subject
Hangouts – video-conferencing, like Skype, but with up to 10 people. You can also collaborate on anything on Drive, share your screen, discuss photos, or play games! There’s also an option to create your own broadcast using ‘Hangouts on Air’
The video below illustrates how Google+ works. The video is 2 years old now and Google+ has integrated more Google products. It should give you a general overview though.
Task: Creating a Google account, joining the LD5D Community and sharing stuff on Google+
Although Google offers many tools, this week we’re going to concentrate on creating an account, joining the LD5D Community and sharing stuff on Google+
1. Create a Google account
Go to http://google.com and click on the ‘Sign in’ button.
Next, click on the ‘Create an account’ link
Complete the registration form. You will be prompted to choose a username and offered a gmail (email) account. You get a whopping 15GB of mailbox space so I would recommend having gmail!
You will also be prompted to upload a photo. Click ‘Next step’
Note that your account and privacy settings can be accessed by clicking on your photo in the top right-hand corner. The menu items across the top give you access to your Google+ area (+YourName) and various other tools. Click ‘Get started’
These tools are also available by clicking on the grid icon next to your photo. The bell icon is where you will find your notifications. Click on +YourName to continue setting up your account.
You will be prompted to Add people. Skip this step for the moment. Click through, adding details in the ‘Be awesome’ section if you wish, and click the Finish button. You are now on your Google+ Home Page.
Your page is currently filled with ‘What’s hot’ but as you start connecting with people and communities it will display their posts.
People who you share things with are organised using ‘Circles’. You can filter what you see by clicking on the pre-defined ‘circles’ (All, Friends, etc…) menu across the top. You can have as many circles as you like so that you can collaborate with specific groups.
Hovering on Home will display a drop down menu.
2. Add details to your Profile
Select Profile. See how the top menu has now changed to About, Posts, Photos, YouTube and More as Google curates the content you create. Note also that you can view your Profile as Yourself , Public or as someone of your choice. You can choose who to share each post with.
Click the ‘About’ tab. You can add further details about yourself here. You can also personalise your Profile by changing the (large) cover photo.
Like Facebook, people can comment on, share or +1 (similar to ‘Liking’ on Facebook) a post. You may have seen a +1 icon at the bottom of many webpages enabling a fast way or sharing interesting stuff! Clicking on the +1 button on your Profile (could be under More) will display content that you have +1ed.
3. Join the LD5D Community
Next select ‘Communities’ from the drop-down menu. Search for the LD5D Community. Click on it to open and join. Alternatively the link to the Community is https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107721729050115007814
4. Start sharing stuff!
I notice from reading some of your blog posts that many of you have areas of interest that you are keen to discuss with others, so here is your opportunity to get those conversations going! Please post a link to an article, video, website, or any resource you have discovered and explain why you find it interesting, how you have used it in your work or how you could see it being used. Then please take the time to look at what others have posted and leave a comment or, even better, ask questions and start a conversation.
I’ve shared a video that explores Google+ in more detail. What do you think?
Using the reflective framework for this week’s blog post…
Keyskills: How easy did you find setting up a Google account – or did you have one already? How did you find posting content? Did you encounter any problems?
Profession-specific: Would Google+ be a suitable tool for your uses? Are you using it already and, if so, what for? Could it be useful for supporting teaching and learning?
Evaluation: Do you have a Facebook and/ or LinkedIn account? How does Google+ compare? Can you see any advantages/ disadvantages?
Integration: Apart from Search, have you used any Google tools previously? Can you see yourself using Google+ or do you feel that everyone is already using Facebook, so there’s no point?