ACU now has Google+ accounts for everyone who has an acu.edu email account. Just point your browser to plus.google.com.
Google+ has a free mobile client for Android and the iPhone/iPod Touch, but at the release date for Google+, the mobile app doesn’t work with plus for Google Apps. However, once the update is released the features listed below will be available out of the box. You can download the iPhone app free.
Google+ for us isn’t a Facebook replacement. How many of us want to be “friends” with everyone we want to interact with? Google+ will be aimed at academic and local sharing, at least for the institution.
Here are some possible uses. I’ll cover each of these in detail in future posts.
Fieldwork observation, recording and sharing
Student-teacher supervisors could use the mobile client to visit classrooms and record notes to a stream shared only with that student. The location and time are easily added by plus as part of the recording of the event. Later at the desktop the post can be edited to add links to suggested resources and make additional comments. The student can then respond by commenting and they both have a record of the event.Alternately, a social work student could do field work, sharing only with the professor or a group to record location and time of the field work, adding photos and other information as needed.
Group work in class
A teacher can create circles of students within a class and post different questions and tasks for group discussion to each group.
Alternately, leaders of the groups can be in a circle and receive updated instructions throughout the class session, prompting them to move the discussion forward, redirect it, or to prepare to report discussion results to the class. The reporting itself can be to a class stream.
Structured hangouts to facilitate student-to-professor communication outside of class
A business professor is restructuring his classroom, “flipping” the classroom, to spend as much time individually as possible with each student in the course. In addition to group work as mentioned above, he hopes to use Google+ to interact remotely with students when outside of class.
Guest panels to enrich courses and sponsored meetings
The sponsoring professor for the Women in Business club wants to use Hangouts to have a guest panel of businesswomen for club meetings.
Keeping students connected with their families
One of our student’s family keeps a hangout open all the time. Family members come and go and check in often to connect with one another.
Q&A sessions for campus offices
HR often has several meetings to discuss changes in benefits programs and other policies. Hangouts could be used to have open hours for general questions and targeted hangouts for individual questions.
Our HelpDesk plans to have a hangout available for technical questions. Students and employees alike can drop in to get technical help.
Connecting students before they come to school
Once the under-18 problem is solved, admissions is interested in having their admissions counselors hold hangouts for future students. This is a perfect scenario for students to get questions answered as well as to meet other students before coming to ACU.
Executive hangouts and streams for campus-wide communication
The president is considering holding both synchronous and asynchronous town halls, using Hangouts for the one and a campus-wide stream for the other.
In-Class information discovery and sharing
Students use laptops and mobile devices to post resources related to the topic at hand, making the information available either directly on devices or to a projected monitor at the front of the classroom.
Expert critique and ongoing alumni connections
The chair of our art and design department is going to use Hangouts with Extras to have one of our alumni working in New York critique student portfolio work. This expert critique will enrich our student experience and better prepare them for work in real-world settings and at the same time maintain connections to our alumni.
Students volunteering for worthy causes can use the mobile app to post quick reports of their work, showing the benefit of volunteering and encouraging others to participate.
I’m looking forward to seeing the creative uses everyone will make of Google+.