Google+ for University Use


0 Commentsby   |  10.28.11  |  Announcement

ACU now has Google+ accounts for everyone who has an email account. Just point your browser to

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.

Remote assistance

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.

Service learning

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+.

Use myACU Custom Classlists in Other Programs

0 Commentsby   |  10.04.11  |  Screencast, Tutorial

myACU provides custom classlists with just a few clicks. You can export these classlists for use in other programs such as Google spreadsheets. This short video (a little over a minute long) shows you how:


Video on how to export custom classlists

Export Custom Classlists

Google Calendar for Office Hours

0 Commentsby   |  10.04.11  |  Screencast

Google released a feature this last summer (2011) that makes it easy to let your students reserve office hours with you.

Sometimes, in spite of email, text, course web sites, students just need to sit down face to face to talk. Here’s how to make that process easier.

Google Calendar for Office Hours

Create Appointments


Direct Access to Apps

1 Commentby   |  10.04.11  |  Uncategorized

Several of the mobile apps and pages normally accessed by going to are available with one tap:

  • nanotools
  • roster/attendance
  • class pages (with links to class info and tools)
Here’s the process for the iPhone (iPad is similar):
Add to Home Screen

Add to Home Screen Example

Take Two

0 Commentsby   |  10.04.11  |  Announcement

The name “Take Two” is related to these ideas:

1. Look at old problems, programs, processes again. Do they still make sense? Do they still work?

2. Take a few minutes here and there to just put away the technology and sit and think about what problem we’re trying to solve.

3. We can learn things in small snatches of time, like a couple of minutes. Take a couple of minutes to learn something new or learn something old better.

I don’t claim that these ideas are necessarily related but they’re the ones that have been on my mind lately. My goal this year is to sit with faculty and finding out what they’re thinking about, how they’re approaching technology and teaching/learning, and whether the technology they are using is working for them.

So far, I’m finding that some old programs we wrote years ago locally are starting to get traction and may need reworking, or possibly replaced with something different. Others are working fine but may not be known by many faculty. These conversations have been fascinating and I’ll tell about some of the creative ways faculty are approaching the teaching and learning process, sometimes using technology and sometimes avoiding its use.

Out of these experiences, I’m creating small, two-minute, bite-sized tutorials on various technology topics as followups to the meetings. I’ll post those here.

For the readers of this, few or many, I hope you’ll contribute ideas and comments about your own second look at technology and how it impacts the teaching and learning process.