What’s all the BUZZ and how do I shut this thing off?

 

Google Buzz in the Classroom

What’s all the buzz about?

Last week Google introduced Google Buzz, a Facebook/Twitter-like social-networking and sharing function of Gmail that integrates photos, video, and links with no character limitations. Google Buzz is going to be available for businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing. Flickr, Picassa, Google Reader, and Twitter updates can be automatically imported into your Buzz stream.

Twitter Killer or Google Dud?

Prior to the release many called Buzz a twitter killer and a threat to Facebook, but now the internet is buzzing with suggestions that the hype was exaggerated. Last week, blogger Matt McGee wrote “From Orkut to Lively to Google Friend Connect and beyond, Google has tried to succeed with social products that just haven’t caught on. There’s no guarantee Google Buzz will be any different.” Currently, Buzz offers no hashtag or search features, which makes it difficult to compete with Twitter as a tool for educators.

And I thought Facebook had a bad privacy record!

Google has always demonstrated strong commitments to user privacy. This time, it looks like they have overlooked some serious privacy flaws. Google has been quick to make improvements but it sounds as though most users are still not happy, insisting that Buzz is disorganized, annoying, and intrusive. Creating an instant social network around email contacts blurs the line between what is public and what is private.

Nicholas Carlson, senior editor of Silicon Alley Insider, sums up the problem, “By default — the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile. In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see the people you email and chat with most.

How do I shut this thing off?

  • Option 1: Keep Buzz active and change the default privacy settings.

Click here for a complete walkthrough.

  • Option 2: Disable Google Buzz completely

At the very bottom of your Gmail screen you will see Gmail view options. Click turn off Buzz to disable the Buzz.

How can we use Google Buzz in the classroom?

It appears Buzz could be useful for group discussions and collaborative planning. However, there hasn’t been much talk about how educators can use Buzz because of these privacy concerns.

As an educator, what is the value of Google Buzz? Will you use it in the classroom? If so, how will you make it meaningful for your students? Please share!

What’s all the buzz about?

Last week Google introduced Google Buzz, a Facebook/Twitter-like social-networking and sharing function of Gmail that integrates photos, video, and links with no character limitations. Google Buzz is going to be available for businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within businesses and classrooms. Flickr, Picassa, Google Reader, and Twitter updates can be automatically imported into your Buzz stream.

Twitter Killer or Google Dud?

Prior to the release many called Buzz a twitter killer and a threat to Facebook, but now the internet is buzzing with suggestions that the hype was exaggerated. Last week, blogger Matt McGee wrote “From Orkut to Lively to Google Friend Connect and beyond, Google has tried to succeed with social products that just haven’t caught on. There’s no guarantee Google Buzz will be any different.” Currently, Buzz offers no hashtag or search features, which makes it difficult to compete with Twitter as a tool for educators.

And I thought Facebook had a bad privacy record!

Google has always demonstrated strong commitments to user privacy. This time, it looks like they have overlooked some serious privacy flaws. Google has been quick to make improvements but it sounds as though most users are still not happy, insisting that Buzz is disorganized, annoying, and intrusive. Creating an instant social network around email contacts blurs the line between what is public and what is private.

Nicholas Carlson, senior editor of Silicon Alley Insider, sums up the problem, “By default — the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile. In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see the people you email and chat with most.

How do I shut this thing off?

  • Option 1: Keep Buzz active and change the default privacy settings.

Click here for a complete walkthrough.

  • Option 2: Disable Google Buzz completely

At the very bottom of your Gmail screen you will see Gmail view options. Click turn off Buzz to disable the Buzz.

How can we use Google Buzz in a learning environmeny?

It appears Buzz could be useful for group discussions and collaborative planning. However, there hasn’t been much talk about how educators can use Buzz because of these privacy concerns.

As an educator, what is the value of Google Buzz? Will you use it? If so, how will you make it meaningful for your children? Please share!

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