Google+ Communities

Google+I’m a big, big fan of Google+. It’s a very big component of my personal learning network (PLN). Here are some thoughts about about why I prefer Google+ over the other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). I encourage everyone to take a look at Google+’s services and consider taking advantage of them.

Friend Me

Please feel free to friend me on Google+. Then browse through my Links and Other Profiles to make connections, collaborate, and share resources through other networks. As I frequently say, “Together we learn more.”

Google+ Communities

I’ve developed several Google+ Communities where we can interact and share resources around particular topics. I invite you to join and actively contribute to all of these groups in which you have an interest/expertise.

PLNs: An Overview

“With Web 2.0 resources and social media students can connect to share ideas, engage in inquiry, and search for additional information. Sometimes called learning communities, collaboration among students and teachers expands educational possibilities through electronic connectedness. Wagner’s (2008) suggestions for improving learning opportunities outline many types of strategies that can effectively integrate technology with learning. Wagner’s ideas that learners need to be engaged in experiences that frame their thinking can be facilitated by current Web 2.0 resources and social media. Students can now engage in critical thinking and problem solving while collaborating and communicating with others and by using curiosity and imagination to explore new ideas. The Web 2.0 tools and social media described in this chapter target those skills and provide students with many types of learning opportunities beyond simple information access” (Source).

“Building a personal learning network requires that you not only seek to learn from others, but also that you also help others in the network learn. Even when you are a novice in a field of learning, you can still make contributions.” — Daniel R. Tobin


  1. Introduction to Personal Learning Networks by Wikipedia.
  2. Personal Learning Networks by Education 2020
  3. Using Digital Technologies and Personal Learning Networks to Enhance Learning – These are the slides, resources, and video recording from my keynote presentation at the Podstock Conference. Use the following “reading prompts” to guide you as you view and reflect on the content.
    1. To what does “alphabet soup” refer?
    2. What are some of the characteristics of PLNs?
    3. Note some of the benefits of PLNs related to teaching and learning.
    4. How are the ideas presented connected to what you already know?
    5. What new ideas did you get that extended or pushed your thinking in new directions?
  4. What My PLN Means to Me – This come from a collaborative activity at a teacher professional development workshop. The virtual post-it note Web 2.0 tool, Padlet, was used for brainstorm and share.

Managing Online Identities Session at #MSMECA13

Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Diigo, YouTube , Tumblr, Instagram, and AudioBoo continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.

Below are my slides for this session. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.


View more presentations from Clif Mims

Blubbr: Play & Create Video Trivia

Blubbr is a free website that makes it possible for you to create and play trivia games with embedded videos. Blubbr calls the games trivs. You can play trivs in different categories, from celebs and music to sport and education. Click on the image below to play a sample triv now.


I setup my Blubbr account (I’d be glad for you to connect with me) and gave it a test drive. It seems that at its core, Blubbr is about making interesting things into fun games. I see many potential educational connections and personal uses.

Educational Connections

Here are a few ideas that might be useful to teachers and students.

  1. You and your students can create trivs focused on the unit you’re currently studying.
  2. Students can develop a triv focused on personal interests and then extend that into research, writing, journaling, etc.
  3. It can be a useful strategy for pre-testing, review and as a study guide.
  4. Trivs can be an engaging alternative strategy for book reports, science presentations, social studies reports, and more.
  5. Allowing students to design quizzes puts them in the role of the teacher. This technique can encourage higher-order thinking.
  6. You and your students can create trivs to introduce yourselves at the beginning of the year.
  7. Developing trivs can be a fun way for students to reflect on a novel, science unit, historical event, poetry, or the highlights of their school year.

You can challenge your students and their families by sharing trivs on your website, via email, through social networks, or by sharing the links in your print-based newsletter.

Personal Uses

In addition to it’s many educational uses, Blubbr can also be used for fun with family and friends. Here are a few ideas that I considered.

  • Develop a triv about your parents and share it with your family to celebrate your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Prepare for the sights you’ll be visiting during vacation by sharing a triv with your travel companions.
  • Show your support for your favorite team or athlete with a triv about them.
  • Challenge your family to a scavenger hunt with a series of trivs that will lead them to a surprise.

You can challenge your family and friends to complete trivs by sharing them on your blog, through Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, or via email.

Your Turn

Blubbr is simple and fun. With well-designed activities it can make significant educational contributions. So what are you waiting for? Go triv something…and share your trivs in this post’s comments so that we can play, too.