Currently, I belong to 21 Communities related to education and cannot seem to stop joining them. Every time I look under "Discover Communities" I seem to find others that I feel could help me to do my job better. I do not even attempt to read all of the posts each day. Typically, I will view a few Communities each day, especially if I am searching for a resource or answer to a question. For example, today I perused Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Instructional Technology Integrators & Coaches searching for a permission form for GAFE. After writing a quick inquiry post, I immediately received several helpful replies. I was able to view provided links, save posts into my favorites (an extension in the Google Chrome Web Store), and email a sample permission form to my colleagues for review.
Most of these Communities have hundreds, if not thousands of participants. Some Communities are open enrollment and some you must request to join. So far, I have not been denied an invite. There are moderators for each Community and some Communities are very particular about where and what you can post. One time, after making a post in a Community, I learned that there are discussion threads. I was politely asked by the moderator if I might want to make my post in a specific discussion thread rather than in the general posts. Of course, I thanked the moderator and moved my post. After all, this is how we learn by taking risks and accepting feedback to grow:)
Here are the Communities I belong to currently.
Google Apps for Education
Instructional Technology Integrators & Coaches
Educators on Google+
Google Apps In Education
Google Docs and Drive
STEM on Google+
Mathematics Education (K-12)
Ask a Google Education Guru
Project Based Learning
Inquiry-based Learning in Mathematics
Google Apps and the Common Core
If you would like to watch a basic screencast I created about Google+ Communities, click here.
I am anxious to learn more about Google+, especially how circles and communities can be used in the classroom. Has anyone tried to use these with students? If so, I would love to hear about your venture. Oh, and yes I almost forgot, I am yet to participate in a Google Hangout so that is on my "to do" also.