Three fellow MAODErs and I spent over an hour 'hanging out' - technical term in Google+
Once you have the software loaded it was extraordinarily intuitive.
You speak and your image takes the main frame.
Easy to share docs or type messages. (or was it guys?)
Without a moderator it wad more like very old friends in a bar abroad, except that one person was sitting on a bed, chatting with hubby alongside, eating yoghurt and behaving as if we were all perched on the end of the bed or doing our teeth in the bathroom.
Like nothing else you are bringing people into your home.
I became immediately consciousness of needing a shave.
I had expected to have some choice over whether to appear in vision or not.
At least I wasn't in the bath, though people did wander off to the bathroom or to make a coffee/answer the phone, as you would do if chilled out in your own home. Weird to feel so drawn into the context of each person's 'learning' space. A cat jumped on this bed and I started a chain reaction whereby we all reached out and through the frames to stroke it - the worked too.
We talked shop, a TMA due on Monday, held up charts to the screen etc: no thought of needing a headset or separate webcam, more a case of adjusting the lighting and seating arrangements.
Will this change expectations of students who use Google+ when it comes to online tutorials?
Yes, this was like being in the room with each of these people. We have of course never met in person before but were behaving like siblings at a second cousin's wedding.