“The big ‘if’ is if [students] engage with Google+ the way they engage with Facebook. If they do, then schools will need to be there,” Barnett said.
Google Wave, introduced in October 2009, combined text, audio, and video chat with features like drag-and-drop documents and interactive polls.
It was billed as what eMail would look like if it were invented today. Less than a year later, Google announced it wouldn’t “continue developing Wave as a standalone product,” but would use the site’s technology for other endeavors.
While Wave was pitched as a more business-related collaboration project, Google Buzz was hailed as a social site built into Gmail accounts. Buzz was seen as a far more entertainment-centric site.
The ability to separate students and professors and maintain appropriate distance from each other’s personal lives has been a much-discussed selling point for Google+ in education.
“Many young people are on Facebook to communicate with their friends, but they’re starting to have concerns about privacy as they learn more about cyber safety,” said John Woodring, a middle school teacher who blogs about instructional technology. “Google Plus right now has the edge in privacy.”
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