Google+ is a social networking and identity service owned and operated by Google Inc. It is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook, and 500 million people had created Google Plus accounts as of December 2012. Google+ has a lot of potential uses for the education space including uses like, virtual professional development for your staff, brining in experts into your classroom, collaborating with our classrooms across the globe, conducting tutorials, reviews, or help desk assistance, and more.

Note that Google+ is NOT a part of the core suite of GAFE tools, and therefore not subject to the rules that apply to other core products like Gmail and Drive. This means that students under 13 cannot legally use it (and Google will suspend their accounts if they do).

How is G+ Different from other Social Networks?
  • Asymmetry (I follow you, but you don't have to follow me)
  • Circles (I share with this group of friends, but not that group of friends)
  • Long form posts and comments (no 140 character limit)
  • Communities (connecting with people by areas of interest)
  • Events (invite and manage events, and aggregate all related photos and videos in a single place)
  • Photo galleries (with spectacular photo editing tools and easy sharing options)
  • Pages ( for managing non-personal identities such as organizations and clubs, etc)
  • Hangouts (realtime multiparty video conferencing)
  • Hangouts on Air (same as above, but with the ability to broadcast live, and save on YouTube)
Exploring Google+
1-Google+ Features
2-Getting Going on Google+: Setting Up Your Profile
3-Meet Your Google+: Getting Around
4-All About Circles
5-Hangout Chats and Hangouts on Air with Google+
6-Google+ and Hangouts for EDU

1-Google+ Features

2-Getting Going on Google+: Setting Up Your Profile

Apps > Google+
-Add your photo
-Add basic information about you: name, gender, birthday
-Accept/Decline Policies
-Add people you know to your Circles
    *create your own circles
    *use system circles
-Add additional profile Information
    *where you work
    *where you live
-Set your notifications
    Home > Settings > Notifications
-Edit Your Profile
    Home > Settings > Profile and Privacy
    Home > Profile > About

Getting Going on Google+

3-Meet Your Google+: Getting Around
-Notifications: The bell symbol (located at the top right of your screen when logged into your Google account on any Google App) will display a number in a red box letting you know how many notifications you have pending. Click to open.

Notifications will display as shown below:

Access additional features from the tabs that appear at the top of your Google+ page. When you change menus (i.e. from 'Home' to 'Profile'), the tab options also change. 

Go to 'More' to find your two stream layout options

-Remove Posts
To remove a post from appearing on your stream follow these steps:
*Locate the post > Select the 'v' symbol at the top right corner of the post > Select 'Mute Post

-Plus (like) a post
Locate the post > Click on the + symbol at the bottom of the post

-Find more options under the 'Home' menu

Meet your Google+

4-All About Circles

-Access your circles by following these simple steps:
Home > People 

-Top Tabs gives you access to:
*Find People: locate others that you might want to add to your circles
*Have You in Circles: shows who has added you to their circles
*Your Circles: shows you who you've added to your circles, you can move then to another circle or delete them from your circles
*Discover: shows you a listing of interesting pages and people

-You can place people into more than one circle. Add a person into more than one circle by following these simple steps:
Home > People > Your Circles > Hover over the Person > Select the Circles you want to put the person in (You can check as many boxes as you'd like.)

-Post to select circles: Once you've added your post content, select who you want to view the post under the 'To:' field. Select only the circles you want and only they will see this post. You can also send them an email with the post. 

Circle Basics in Google+

5-Hangout Chats and Hangouts on Air with Google+

-Hangout Chats:
*Start a hangout chat with one or more people: Click on the Green quotation mark > Add users by name or email

*video call them directly, and add them via email/Google Apps account

*Start a hangout party (first 10 join with video)
Everyone you invite will see an invitation in their Google+ stream, and the first to respond will join your group video call (up to 10 people total). Click on Hangouts > Scroll to the bottom to find the 'Start a Video Party' section > Click on 'Start a Party' >  Add Users or Circles

-Hangouts on Air
Want the world to hear what you have to say? Well, with Hangouts On Air, you can share and record your live discussions and performances with everyone! Hangouts On Air lets you:
  • Broadcast: Invite circles or individual people to join you in a Hangout On Air, then broadcast it to the world. A live player of your broadcast will be posted to your Google+ Home page and YouTube channel.
  • Edit and share the recorded broadcast: Your Hangout On Air will be recorded as a public video and will be available on your Home page once the broadcast has ended. You'll also be able to edit the recording when the broadcast is over. If you edit your video, your post (including the video URL) will automatically be updated to show the edited version.

To start broadcasting:

  1. Visit
  2. Click Start a Hangout On Air
  3. Give your broadcast a name and invite the people you want to join.
  4. Click Start Hangout On Air.
  5. Once everyone's joined and you're ready to go live, click Start broadcast at the top of the screen.

Once you click Start broadcast, you're officially "On Air" and the public will be able to watch your live broadcast.

Before You Start a Hangout on Air:
  1. Check out the system requirements to make sure you're using a supported browser and operating system, and that your processor and bandwidth are sufficient.
  2. Download and install the latest version of the plugin.
  3. Make sure you have the latest drivers for your webcam.
  4. For the best video quality, make sure you're well lit from a light source that's coming from behind your camera. Webcams don't work well in low light situations.
  5. Connect your headphones to your device! Headphones with a built in microphone will dramatically improve your video call experience.
  6. You must have a YouTube account set up

Hangouts on Air with Google+

Google Hangouts Remote Desktop:
Google recently updated its Hangout chat client with the same remote desktop control
 tech integrated into Chrome. This slick new feature gives you the option to take control of someone's computer (with their permission, of course) during a video call. If you often find yourself recruited to help friends and family members with technical issues, you'll definitely dig this. To begin a remote session, start a Hangout and click View More Apps > Add Apps > Hangouts Remote Desktop.

6-Google+ and Hangouts for EDU

Big thanks to Jay Atwood, a GCT from Singapore, for these four great videos that will help you get started with Google+.
Getting Started with Google Hangouts on Air by Google