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Using Google+ Communities with learners

I have started using Google+ communities this year to extend what is done in the classroom and to connect learners in a way that works for them.  I have attempted to develop a learning community in my senior classes as I can see the benefits through their interactions already, McLoughlin & Lee write that by using online communities "rich possibilities for students to create and share ideas, connect, and participate in broader learning communities that are not confined to the spaces in which formal teaching and learning activities take place." (2008 p.15)  As a school we use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and one of the benefits of using this cloud based platform is that it is ubiquitous in that it can be used on any device, and anywhere - the social learning aspect of it 'google+' has a very interactive mobile interface which allows users to receive notifications and post updates from phones and mobile devices, as well as sharing photo's video and giving '+1's' which are similar to the facebook 'like'.  This is working really well and we have used the space to co-collaborate on what we think student agency looks like, as well as sharing ideas and pictures from practical student led PE sessions.

As I teach teenage boys I think as learners they are not too confident in voicing their opinions verbally and would rather write it down sometimes, however there is still the social aspect and face to face contact which allows them to share in other ways as well.  There for I think one of the most important considerations is the medium in which the message is shared - can the participants actively construct and feedback on content that is relevant and applicable in their lives - with the case of teenagers it is more likely to be successful if it is a mobile application.

The video goes into more depth;

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. (2008). The Three P’s of Pedagogy for the Networked Society: Personalization, Participation, and Productivity. … Journal of Teaching & Learning in …, 20(1), 10–27. Retrieved from


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