Google+ makes it easy for you to collaborate and communicate. It is excellent for video conferencing via hangouts, and you can have status update discussions, organised into streams, with your own defined circles of contacts.
Latest Google+ Tip: Circles
Google+ Circles help you organize everyone according to your real-life social connections-say, 'family,' 'work friends,' 'external contacts,' and 'alumni'. Then, you can share relevant content with the right people, for example, you might post an announcement about your engagement and share it with your friends and family circles, or maybe you see a post from the circle you created for your book club that there's a recent article on your favorite author.
For a range of support material and guides see the Google+ section of the CiCS website.
Google+ and Security
Google+ is not covered by the same agreements protecting Google Apps for Education and should not be used with sensitive University information. For more info see:
Circles in Google+
Hangouts in Google+