Sunday, February 1, 2015

Digilit Sunday: Posting and Adding Topics to Your Google Community

As part of a continuous collaboration among educators interested in digital learningMargaret Simon hosts a weekly Digital Learning round-up on her blog:  DigiLit Sunday.  Stop by Reflections on the Teche (today's link-up) to read, discover, and link.  

I joined Google Plus some time ago, and on the occasional day when I'm completely bored I click over to see what's happening. For the most part, I've tried to avoid getting drawn into Google Plus.  I use Facebook to keep up with friends and family.  Twitter is the space I choose to work professionally.  I don't need another social media network to check everyday.   

Or do I?

To me, the platform is like a mix of Twitter and Facebook.  It's as if Google took the best features of both networks and brought them together.  Lately, my friend, Julie Johnson, keeps sending me to Google Plus.  I've joined several communities and peek in on them from time to time, but I think she might finally have me hooked.  

With the recent removal of Jog the Web, I found myself going to Google Plus to host our picture book events.  It seemed the perfect place to build a community and to recreate our resources we lost in the removal of Jog the Web.  The more I work with Google Plus the more possibility I discover.

My favorite features of Google Plus:
  • Posting:  There are times when 140 characters just isn't enough.  Google Plus offers the ability to tell people more about your thinking before sending them off to a link.  
  • Threaded Conversation:   It is easy to comment under a post and generate conversation.  The ability to keep the conversation grouped in one easy thread makes it easier to share and learn from others.  
  • Communities:  The ability to create communities and set their privacy opens the door to greater collaboration around a topic.  
  • Links:  Google Plus allows you to easily insert links and choose the images that will show up in your post.
  • Topic Tabs:  This is a big plus for me.  The ability to create topic tabs to better organize information in your community helps everyone to work more effectively.  
  • Hangout:  The ability to hangout and call everyone together for a live conversation is another plus in this network.

Adding a Post to Specific Sub-Topics
Several people have asked me how to add their previous posts to our Picture Book 10 for 10 Community.  Try this:

1.  Go to Picture Book 10 for 10 Community (request to join, if you are not already a member)

2.  Click on the tab for the event and year of the post you'd like to add.  You should then be directed to the specific page for that event (ie. 2014 #pb10for10 hosted on August 10, 2014).  This will place your post in the proper event for other members to locate.

3.  Tell readers what you want them to know about your post in the "Share what's new" box.  

4.  Add the link from your post so readers can visit your site.  (Remember to copy and paste the entire address to the specific post.)  If more than one image is available, you will be able to click the arrow to choose the one you would like visible to community members.  

5.  Your post will then be visible within this topic and will also show in the main discussion feed.  

I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot more time on Google Plus.  The ability to work collaboratively in learning communities is a feature with much potential.  


  1. Thanks for the detailed explanation. At Julie's request, I joined the 10 for 10 community. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I have found some rich posts that are very helpful. I get overwhelmed with all the social media choices. I use Facebook and Twitter regularly. Google + less often. I am also on Instagram, but I forget to go there. I like that the Google posts come to my gmail account. Thanks for linking up. Do you think I should start a Digital Literacy group on Google + or maybe there is one out there already?

  2. I love this post. I need to understand google + better. It does appear to be intuitive, but I haven't given it enough time. Did you just learn by playing around or did you watch a how to video?

    1. Kimberley,
      I suppose it's a combination. I've been on Google for awhile, but I haven't really invested much time into figuring it out. New purposes have made me slow down to take a closer look. I'm learning as I go by playing --- with an occasional video search to learn how to do something new. I think it has a lot of potential.


  3. Cathy, thanks once again for leading me to new possibilities. Could you see this as a class page for parents?