Google has the perfect tool for connecting you with your personal learning network (PLN) – Google+ Hangouts.

If case you’re wondering, Google+ is a social networking service that is owned by Google and is similar in function to other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Check out this short video to see some of the basic features of Google+ and how it allows you to connect and share information with friends and family.

Google+: How to get started
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Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts allows you to host a video conference call with your PLN for such purposes as collaborating on projects, discussing teaching strategies, or to share what’s going on in your classroom with other teachers or classrooms around the world.  Google+ Hangouts has many ways to share content during the video call.  You can watch a YouTube video together, collaborate on a Google Doc, or share a program that you have on your screen.  You can even request to share and control another user’s screen which can be helpful if the other user is having difficulty using a program.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to Google+ and Google+ Hangouts with EVSCK12.COM accounts are currently limited to teachers and staff.  Students do not have access to these features with their accounts.

Check out the videos below for great examples of Google+ Hangouts being used in education. While you watch, think about ways you could use Google+ Hangouts in your classroom and personal learning.

To learn more about Google+ and Google+ Hangouts, please visit

Google+ Communities

If you’re looking to expand on your personal learning network in the Google universe, Google+ has a section called Communities where people can come together in a group to discuss and share resources on a topic. For instance, if you’re interested in learning more about Google Apps, there is a Community called “Google Apps for Education” that has over 18,000 members and over 2600 posts.  Not all Communities are open to join, but most are open to the public.  If there’s not a Community on a topic you’re looking for, then you should go ahead and label yourself as the founding member of the new Community and get it started!

Check out the videos below to get a more indepth view of what Google+ Communities are all about.

To learn more about Google+ Communities, please visit

photo credit: i_aint_got_no_id via photopin cc


  1. The Google Hangouts are fun and easy to use. Just recently I used a Hangout to connect with a group of my fellow CODE 2.0 participants.

    The Hangout is easy to use, and the enhancements added in recently made the product so much better than the previous version. And when you can add on a pirate hat and mustache, what more could you ask for?

    The Hangout did provide one challenge, and that is making sure that everyone in the Hangout is prepared and ready to go. It was slow for us to get started as not everyone was familiar with it. Also, as in any online meeting, you have to be prepared to talk or you will just be seen on screen.

    I think the best part of a Hangout is the sharing option, where I can share a Google Document to work on, or share my desktop, so others can see what I am working on.

    I recommend the Hangout and I definitely need to find a reason to use these more.

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