Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Using Google+ Communities for classroom discussion

+Ade Oshineye was kind enough to say that he was interested in my feedback on Google+ Communities. I'm going to be using them this term for classroom discussion. Here's a couple of links to seed the conversation:
A few quick observations:
  • What makes Lightbox so great is that the community reinforces high quality content creation. Some of that is based on a voting pool which encourages people to submit and critique photos. To submit, you have to critique. If your submission doesn't garner 10 save votes before 10 delete votes, it gets deleted. If, however, you get the 10 save votes, then you're promoted to another category in the discussion where saved photos go.
  • Google does not provide automatic vote tabulation. You have to read down through the comments and use labels like #save1, #save2, #delete2, etc. based on your count of what's gone before.
  • Google does not provide any sort of way of tracking member activity to reinforce the norm that you have to critique to submit. That's really on the honor system. Personally, I think the larger issue of tracking member activity needs to be addressed even if it never quite gets down to this level of particularity. +Gerwin Sturm's All My Plus is a good step in this direction.
  • With just a little bit of work, Lightbox could be a full-fledged publication based on user-generated content. The workflow is submit content, have it voted on, push voted up content to the rest of the world via the appropriate community category. It would be good if one could just publish that category as its own stream.