Using social media in teaching and learning can have great results, allowing students to easily interact with one another on a familiar platform. It can however also lead to issues with to privacy and security; Google Plus is one option that allows these issues to be easily managed.
Google Plus has been successfully used for teaching and learning within the University. Whilst it is not as widely used as some other social media platforms, its interface will be familiar to those that have used the major social platforms such as Facebook.
A key advantage of Google Plus is that all students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University can use their staff Google account to log in. If you are not familiar with how to use your staff Google account and what it is for you can find this information in our Google Apps blog post. This bypasses the concern of mixing private and professional life that can often arise when using social media in a work or educational context.
Google Plus and more specifically, Google Communities, allows you to create a secure area for discussion where students can share files and web resources and generally chat and ask questions. You can also post on your own Google Plus profile
Bear in mind you can control the privacy of any communities you create including having control over who can join, view and contribute to any communities you create. You can also restrict access so only those within SHU can access posts and communities.
Google Plus can be accessed from the list of Google Apps found in Google Drive. Information on how to access this list can be found in this previous blog post.