Google+ Communities allow real-time collaboration, sharing and engagement while creating a repository of artefacts
Eloise Thomson teaches future teachers, and looks for ways to integrate technology into courses so that students can see examples of how to integrate it into their teaching. In “Geography in a Social Context” the in-class time is spent in workshops where students do group work and small projects. Google+ Communities are visual, easy to use space for staff and students to share within the classroom, making it a useful resource as it becomes a repository for projects, learning materials, students’ questions and ideas, etc.
Online tools that support collaboration and communication can enrich students’ learning in face-to-face classes. Tools like Communities can help to seamlessly support students, and blend their in-class and personal study time for courses. (In blended courses, it is especially important that these two environments aren’t isolated from one another.)
Group work done in class typically concludes with the groups sharing their ideas back to the class. Using a Google+ Community as a presentation tool is a more tangible and efficient way for students to share their work with others. By capturing and sharing their work in the Community using text, images, and videos, students create artifacts that their peers and teaching staff can access again at a later time, and which they can refer back to in future. Students can use the Community as a presentation platform within the classroom.
- Set up your Community
- Get students and teaching staff to opt-in to G+ at RMIT
- Ask students to join your G+ Community
- In class, demonstrate how to use the Community, including the different types of posts available and how to mention others (type +Name), comment, and like (+1)
- Set a specific group task, including the types of resources you expect students to share back with the group, such as images, charts, examples or multimedia.
- Ensure that groups include the names of all group members (using the +Name format) in any post related to their group work.
- Ask people to review the work of other groups in class or before the following session, and make comments or ask questions using the Comments feature.
Eloise Thomson (Lecturer, School of Education)
Andrea McLagan (Educational Developer, College of Design and Social Context)