Monday, July 11, 2011

Google Plus vs. Facebook Video Chat: teachers and education

google plusImage by Sean MacEntee via FlickrI just recently was invited to Google+. Though I've heard a lot of hype about it and knowing how vulnerable Facebook really is, of course it makes me quiver at the fact that is all we need is yet another site like Facebook. But truthfully, I'm kinda surprised.

I hopped on this site and at first it don't look like much, That is until you start playing with all the buttons and features to it. I have come to find out that its not really a site at all. For all the Email lovers out there. You might want to know that is what this program or Google plus is. It's more like an email program that wraps up the people you invite for a more direct contact with each other in a fashion that is set up kinda like Facebook but then it is not the same. This I really like.

Circles. This makes a huge difference. Unlike Facebook your wall is your wall. The world cannot see what you've posted on there unless you allow all your Circles to and make it public. I love this feature. If you choose to only share with your Family. Or just your friends or just keep it private. That is up to you. It's your Wall.

Now there are still more features I'm playing with like the photos, Video chat which leads me to this article below. I totally agree. This would be great for schools, and it's something I've been trying to talk to Xbox about with Kinect. But, that's another story.
See the link below for the entire article.

It is a big summer so far in social networking.  Google Plus was released last week, and a lot of tech geeks agree that its circles and “handout” features are both useful and a potential game-changer for work groups and web workers, and in my opinion, online schools and distance learning programs.
Facebook also upped the ante today announcing Facebook Video Chat, backed by Skype technology (now a subsidiary of Microsoft).
As you might expect, these two technologies will face off in coming days and months in an endless stream of chatter comparing the two.  Is Google too late?  Is Facebook too powerful?  Will users adopt a new technology?  Will users keep up both?  All excellent questions.
For tech-savvy teachers, however, I think the answer is clear.  Google Plus is positioned to bring an easily adoptable, broad set of tools to face-to-face and virtual schools alike. Follow me down a path for a moment.

Circles: A Killer Education App

The Google Plus “circle” features adds something to social networking that make it a must-go-to for teachers or other professionals that want to separate their personal life and professional life without creating a number of different accounts to do so.  Being able to take your contacts and saying “these are family, share this stuff” and “these are colleagues or students, share this stuff” is an extremely powerful toolset for teachers and other professionals.  Is there potential for awkward moments if you aren’t careful?  Of course there is.  But for the tech-savvy, this is a big leap forward.
Facebook has list features that you can accomplish some of the same, but, Mark Zuckerburg today said that lists are for power users only, something that isn’t a new attitude from Facebook.
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