Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Turning Educators onto Google +

Our district opened up Google + to employees late last year. However, it has not taken off at the level I would have hoped. Instead, many of our teachers have stuck with the email method of delivering information. Some feel the organization of Google + is too chaotic while others deem it as social media and do not want to air themselves in that manner.

However, I view Google + differently than most social media. Yesterday, I had a group of teachers post after a training tools that they feel they can immediately take back to the classroom and practices they hope to keep with them. Teachers categorized their posts for our teacher tech slam. Now, teachers can go back and search.

How do we get teachers to see the power in Google +? We are a heavy-using Edmodo district and my teachers wanted to use Google + in that regard, but as elementary teachers, their students were not allowed to use Google +. So, that became a negative about Google +.

Do we view Google + as another tool/social media site or do we view it beyond that, as an opportunity to collaborate? I argue for the latter. However, collaboration and going outside a school is a concept that is only slowly growing.

Therefore, Google + is symbolic for a shift in education - a shift toward collaboration and shared classrooms. What do we need to do to facilitate that change?

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