You may have heard some of the buzz lately around Google Plus. Students can utilize this amazing new social media tool to gain an edge during their time in school and beyond.
Professional speaker and best-selling author Chris Brogan explained why Google+ is so important on his post on Entrepreneur.com, “If you get in, get familiar, start growing connections and learn how to curate and share, you'll be ahead of the game.”
As a student of the 21st century, other generations are looking to you to be well informed about major trends in the social media landscape. Learning this tool now will give you a jumpstart on the competition in the future. Below are some useful tools to help you navigate the wonderful world of Google+ and the many benefits that come from being connected.
Learn about Google+
Similar to a Facebook Like, if you enjoy a website or article you can give it a +1. Google then tracks all of these back to your profile to share with your connections. Found a good site for a class research project? Give it a +1 and share it with your classmates or to reference at a future date.
Within Google+, each person you connect with is added to a “Circle.” This feature allows you to separate your connections into different groups and makes it easy to add your classmates into a different circle than your family or close friends for example. Also, you can share information to the public or just a particular Circle of people. This allows you to keep your personal, school, work life, and all other social lives separated yet interconnected.
3. Find People
Search for people within your community such as business leaders and fellow peers within your industry to follow their public posts. Stay informed by getting updates, photos, and more directly in your stream. This is also a great way to network, meet people, and find new opportunities.
This nifty feature allows you to have video hangouts online with up to nine of your friends. As a student, you could use it to coordinate a group study session for the upcoming exam.
5. Invite Friend
Google+ was only launched in June of 2011, so chances are that not all of your friends have a profile yet. Simply send them an invite to connect and then show them how smart you are by teaching them how to use it.
Google+ has a game room where you can relax and compete for the top scores against your classmates. Need a break from your homework? Might as well play some Angry Birds.
The free email service is connected with your Google+ profile. This allows you to access your email easily without having to logout and login again and again.
8. Google Calendar
Track your assignment due dates, class schedule or study time, and share your calendar with your classmates, friends, and family. Much of student success comes simply from showing up and turning in assignments on time.
9. Google Search
Two-thirds of online searches are on Google. The integrated search bar allows you to multitask seamlessly while gathering research for that school paper.
10. Google+ Chat
With this feature you can text, voice or video chat with your online connections. It’s a great way to stay connected with classmates and further develop relationships.
11. Google+ Location
Whether you are taking courses locally or online, share your location with your circle of classmates. This is great for connecting with people locally or nationwide.
12. Google+ Pages
Connect with your favorite businesses or institutions. Be the first to receive inside information and access to special money-saving deals for the budget conscious student.
13. Google+ Privacy
You can choose what and who can view on your public profile. Starting your career search soon? Maybe look at tightening up the robust privacy controls offered by Google+.
14. Google Products
Google has lots of different products. Be sure to check out Images, Maps, News, Documents, Earth, Translate, Reader, Music, and Offers among many others. These products and more can be useful to students.
15. Google+ Profile
Creating this profile will allow people searching your name via Google to find your profile. This means it is a great place to impress potential employers. Think of it as a secondary (or third, if you have a LinkedIn Profile) resume for building your personal brand.
16. Mobile Instant Upload
Have you ever seen something that gave you a great idea for a school project? Snap a photo and upload instantly to ensure that idea doesn’t get lost.
17. Mobile Messenger
Working on a group project throughout the day? Use this feature to text chat with a Circle of friends to constantly stay connected and informed of the progress.
The online photo sharing site has been a part of Google’s offerings for a long time. Share your photos on your profile and save them to your Picasa. No more uploading to multiple places.
19. Search Plus Your World
Google’s results are getting more personal with “SPYW”. Now your results will be personalized with information from your Google + contacts. This can include photos, posts, +1’s, and more. When you are signed in and run a search, this personalization is on the results page whenever any relevant information from your connections is available.
This feature allows you to track current events that you’re interested in. Is there a specific topic you need to follow for a course your tacking? Sparks allows you to stay on top of current information and trends.
Just like a news feed, your stream contains all of the most recent and important posts from your connections. You can even filter it to each different circle you have created.
Staying in tune with the latest and greatest trends can be time consuming. Check out the Trends function to join in the conversation, or to keep track of the most current events relative to your studies.
Since Google owns YouTube you can search for videos directly from your Google+ stream.
24. Connect with Rasmussen College
Add us to your Circle to stay informed on higher education and career-related tips and news!