Google+ has a number of features that are missing from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Having the ability to categorize your followings into circles and follow more specific streams, though Facebook has a similar feature, make this a tool that can easily work into a faculty members daily life. Another great feature is Hangouts. This can be audio only or audio and video chatting, much like Skype, with up to 10 users, making this a great feature to hold class discussions and to encourage study groups.
The current problem, as I see it, is the lack of users. While the number of people signing up for Google+ is growing daily it is still far behind the number of Facebook users. I know a number of students that have signed up for a Google+ account but have never used it. It is like they are holding their place in line. I just wish they would return. Having stated that, the features of Google+ make me think how I could use the program in my teaching.
Here is a link to an article on some of Google+’s features.
Do you use Google+? If so, have you tried using it in the courses you teach?