1. To create your Google+ account, sign-in to your Gmail and click on the +Your Name symbol in the top far right of the page:
2. If this is your first time accessing Google+ you will be asked to create an account, simply follow the directions until you reach your homepage:
3. Click on the Home button in the top left corner and click on Profile.
|Home Button > Profile|
Your profile will look plain when you first join. To add a cover photo (this will always be a public photo) click on change cover. You do have access to a gallery of stock photos for your cover photo or you can upload your own. My recommendation is to chose a stock photo for your cover photo or a photo that you have that is not personally identifiable (maybe a picture of your favorite team or a pretty landscape).
To change your profile picture, hover your cursor over the circle space next to your name on the top of your profile. You can then upload or select your desired photo (of yourself looking your professional best, of course!).
4. On your profile, you can view people in your circles as well as those who have you in their circles. Circles are groups of people that you can customize. To quickly add and manage your circles, click on the Home button on the top left side of the page and click People.
|People > Your Circles|
Along the bottom of the screen, you will see your circles. To add a new circle, click on the plus icon. You can have people in multiple circles. For example, your mother also works for JCS, you may want to add her to both the family circle and a circle for work. You can drag icons for people you have already added to different circles. You can also type in a person's name to add a new person to your circle. Circles are useful for sharing information and events to those people to whom it is relevant. You can also share different levels of access to your profile with those in different circles.
5. You are now ready to share your first update. Click on the Home button and start typing your first update in the share what's new box:
|Share within the Community|
6. Hover over the home button on the left side of the page. You will see a menu like this:
|Click on Communities.|
Communities is a great way to connect to people across the globe. To view a community page, simply click on it.
To become a member of a community, click on the red join community button on the top right side of the page.
In most cases, your account will be reviewed before you are granted membership in a community. In some communities, you may have to wait for someone to review your request.
Posts from communities you belong to will show up on your homepage and profile.
***One community that I would like to spotlight is the Google Connected Classrooms community.
Google + Connected Classrooms Community is a great way to connect to international teachers. It is a public community of classrooms around the world. It has a lot of innovative ideas and events. To visit the site I have included the direct link: Connected Classroom Community OR Connected Classrooms for virtual field trips.
Once you have joined a community, you can also post directly to that community.