Starting Subject Google+ Communities

Public G+ Communities

When you start up a G+ Community for your subject, think about how this will function. What you should definitely do is make the community PUBLIC, because you can’t change this function once the community has been set up. I’ve been caught out with this with communities that I’ve set up for classes a couple of years back, which is annoying. Although those communities still exist, and for at least the next year, I’ll add my students into those communities, it will take a while for the new public communities to generate resources and traffic. #rookieerror

Year Level Subject G+ Communities v Class Communities

Going back 2-3 years when I first started developing and using G+ communities, and for that matter, Blogs, I was setting them up for each class. That worked well for that particular class, but wasn’t very clever in terms of broad ideas around sharing. I say this, because I was teaching 2 x intermediate classes, 2 x Year 9 classes, and 1-2 Year 10 classes, alongside my multi-level senior class. That was semester 1! Enter semester 2, where the seniors would stay, but I’d get a whole range of different junior classes, then semester 3 etc. When students at a particular year level were learning similar concepts, regardless of which ‘class’ they belonged to, it was senseless to have individual class communities and blogs (as well as a logistical nightmare). It made more sense to create a year level community with labels or categories, that students could easily share and learn from. Hence, in my case, it made more sense (for longevity) to go Year Level instead of Class by Class. Another reason I’ve had to set up new G+ communities ... #rookieerror2

Generating Feedback

Students generating feedback on each others work isn’t something that just happens by chance. Students need to, not only be reminded of the value that feedback has for their peers, but also be given the opportunity (timewise) to feedback within the timeframes of the lesson. I know this sounds impossible, when we’re trying to jam all of the knowledge of the universe into 50 minute slots, but over time it can be done. Does it have to happen every lesson? Debatable. Does it have to happen regularly? Absolutely.

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