With the addition of Google+ features to Google Apps for Education accounts (GAFE) came the Google Hangout, which is essentially Google’s pumped up answer to Skype.
So, what exactly is a Google Hangout?
A Google Hangout is a video call, chat, discussion platform crammed into one amazing tool. I was first introduced to Google Hangouts for education earlier this year at a tech conference, and my mind was blown! In order to have a Google Hangout, individuals must simply have a Google account and a webcam enabled device (and Internet connection, of course). That’s it. Hangout attendees do not need special equipment. This point alone makes this a great tool for the classroom.
Google Hangouts can be conducted with up to ten people, whose faces will appear at the bottom of the Hangout screen.
During the Hangout, users can share YouTube videos, documents through Google Drive, and photos. They can also chat with one or all of the participants and include fun accessories on their video, like tiaras, mustaches, and beach backgrounds! Neat!
Here are just a few ideas about how you could use Google Hangouts in the classroom:
- talk to a student’s family member who can provide a first hand account of an historical event
- hangout with a student’s family member serving overseas in the military
- discuss a wide range of topics with a classroom from another city, state, or country
- watch and review a movie (that is relevant to the curriculum of course) and compare your classroom’s response to those in another state
- Google Hangouts Guide for Teachers
- This is How to Use Google Hangout in Your Classroom – Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
- 32 Tips for Using Google + Hangouts in the Classroom – Teach Thought