We are into Week#3 of Multimedia Apps & Tools, a course I am teaching for Community College of Vermont. Like any course, the first few weeks are spent setting up systems, clarifying expectations, finding our way around and getting to know each other. As an instructor for an online course, my primary goal is to create a learning community where students aren't just working in isolation and interacting with just the material. Using Google Apps allows me to approximate a face to face classroom where real life connections and social engagement are possible in real time, as well as asynchronously. While I am tied to Moodle, the college’s LMS for our home room so to speak for grading and posting weekly lessons, we are able to leave that box by using tools like Google+ Communities and HangOuts for online sharing, collaborating and live discussions, or Blogger for reflective journaling, as well as many of the other creative & collaborative tools Google offers. Below is a presentation I prepared which highlights using Google Apps for building an online learning community.