I'm looking for a guide on how to set up google+ in the classroom. I'm looking to create circles in my class on Friday.
I'm hoping to avoid some pitfalls on creating accounts, easiest way to create a circle, and what settings to have.
Any help would be appreciated.
I would hold off until G+ is released as part of the Google Apps for Education suite. There is no official timetable for the release, but every indication is that it will be months, not years. I am hoping to use it in my classroom starting next fall.
As it stands now, you will be asking [requiring?] students to setup personal Google accounts. According to Google's terms of service, you must be of "legal age" (18) to create an account. This can generally be avoided if parents create the account on behalf of a student. Keeping track of this would be a lot of work.
You are asking students to participate in an open social network. I'm sure most of them are on facebook already, however their participation puts you in potentially dangerous territory as you will be responsible, in some regard, for whatever they do on G+ even if it is not part of your classroom activities.
I know it's tempting to integrate G+ into the classroom, but I would wait.
Google+ is an open social network. Although you can post a Google Docs as public, there is no easy way for a random person to find and edit a public document. Google Docs is not designed to be a social network, it's designed to allow people who want to collaborate together to be able to do so.
I don't wan't to give the impression that I think social networks are dangerous, however as an educator, I would be very cautious to require participation in a social network without the ability to closely monitor and restrict student activity.
Is your danger that kids will be bad, or that bad people will view their classwork?
I suppose the nature of Google+ circles is that I can monitor them when they share to my class circle, but they are on their own if they share elsewhere.
But, I have hard time balancing my need to publish and collaborate globally with fear. I find there is too much fear in education, and thus I am still seeing students who reach senior year with no video/books/music/websites that they have created or published.
Please excuse my ignorance on this topic, but what are Google circles and how can they applied to the classroom?