Google Communities in the Classroom
I chose to look at two communities, one that has to do with Educational Technology, and one that has to do with my own interests as an English teacher. This week we're looking at Google Communities, and how we can integrate them into the classroom as educators. Through Google+, we have the opportunity to become members of communities of fellow educators and learners where collaboration and and sharing is encouraged.
The first community, simply called EdTech, is a place for educators to come together and exchange ideas and strategies dealing with Educational Technology. The community has over 50,000 members, so you know it's a great place to get a diversity of viewpoints on every subject. There are lots of different tabs that you can choose when looking at the community, including one dealing just with different apps and software, two that separate K-12 from higher education, and they even have a place for advice on job searches. Overall, there's a lot of ideas here and I specifically really like that since there are so many people in the community, there's a greater chance that you'll find things you never would have found otherwise, like this PacMan review game and an easy way to make comics with Google Slides.
The second community that I looked at was something that I'm personally very passionate about, Diversity in Children's Books. Though I'm not an Elementary Ed. major, I think producing diverse children's literature is the step that then allows for more diversity in YA and adult literature, so it's an important issue to look for. The main use for this community, which is smaller than EdTech but still active, is to offer up suggestions for published children's literature that gives students unique perspectives on the world and their surroundings. In addition, a lot of people also post craft and activities that a teacher could incorporate into their classroom that center around the traditions of different cultures and nationalities. I've loved getting to read about all these different books that are out there, because like I said with EdTech, there are so many people contributing that you now have that many more minds working together toward a common goal that you might not have been able to conquer or discover yourself.
Overall, I think Google+ Communities are a great way for teachers to stay connected with each other and share and collaborate on ideas. I think you could also use this in your classroom, creating a community just for the students in your class to collaborate, and it would be easy to integrate further with other G Suite programs.