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Surprising Traction Deep Inside Google Plus

Voices Community
Bernie Goldbach in LSAD-Clonmel | Screenshot inside Google Community.

WE HAVE OPENED a vibrant Google Plus Community that amplifies the Voices of creative multimedia students. I am surprised by the traction it has gained in a few days.

I set up Voices as a private and closed group. If everyone in the group agrees, we will make it visible but invitation-only. There are important sharing and threading features that happen only when they are enabled by group moderators.

Fourth year creative multimedia students are moderators of Voices, along with several lecturers. The fourth year students are completing an Applied Communications module.

Third year students have to mount an end-of-year exhibition and they are using Voices to define functional areas as well as to track deliverables. Those same students will discover whether items in G+ can deliver better search engine visibility as they explore the idea in a Web Analytics module.

A large cohort of second year students taking both a Critical and Contextual Studies module and a Personal Development module will discover if they are able to find their Voice inside this newly formed Community. From past experience, I know our third year students are ruthless gatekeepers. That said, the best marks come as a result of an effective team dynamic.

I am using Voices with first year students on the LSAD-Clonmel campus as they complete a social media module. The emphasis is on Social Audio with a deep dove into how effective social networking for business evolves through clever uses of tools for collaboration. By itself, the Voices Community is a collaborative technology.

The structure of the current curriculum makes it difficult to integrate our new animators into the current exhibition planning because those first year animators are engrossed in Drawing Principles instead of with other first year students in social media. Having their Voices heard will help solve this structural omission.

I expect to present the findings of both the students and the lecturers involved in this very engaging undertaking during EdTech13 later in 2013. I will also share weekly reflections in our Educasting channel on Audioboo.

Bernie Goldbach is a lecturer in creative multimedia at the Limerick Institute of Technology.