Saturday, June 23, 2012

Using Google Hangout in Education! Part 1

By this time last year I had my summer PD all planned out. So far, I hadn't really planned anything for these first 2 weeks off from school, and to my delight a professional development opportunity arose before my very eyes.

Every other Thursday night I meet on Twitter with a group of people interested in Elementary Science. The creator and moderator of that chat, Bill Krakower (@wkrakower) of New Jersey, suggested that we try to conduct the chat via 'Google Hangout'. I have heard Bill, as well as some other folks, referring to this 'Hangout' a lot lately, and decided I would LOVE to be involved.

What is a Google Hangout? Think Skype on steroids! Google Hangout is a feature of Google+ which allows up to 10 people to video conference at one time. Within the Hangout there are many extra great features as well. These include Screen Sharing, Google Doc sharing, Watching the same Youtube Video together, a Sketchpad and more. These features promote collaboration which is just perfect for educators, students and administrators!

The other night there were 7 of us participating in the 'Hangout'. It was fun playing around with the different features (see below!). We didn't talk much science, but we were able to come up with a plan to get our classrooms connected through Google Hangout in October. A 'real-time' document outlining how we will use it in the fall was created in the Hangout. Many of the other features were examined as well. It was decided that in October each class will poll the other classes regarding their 'favorites' (ice cream, subject, color, etc.) then get back together at a later date for another 'Hangout' to analyze and share our graphs.

@cybraryman1 et al testing the 'Special Effects' during a Hang Out!
This exploration of Google Hangout and the collaboration that happened during the evening will certainly be filed under "Professional Development". My Twitter PLN has afforded me the opportunity to investigate a new tool in a comfortable, safe setting with the intention of future collaborative efforts. This is educational collegiality at its finest!

Thank you to @wkrakower, @plnaugle, @missbamberger, @cybraryman1, @ICETeacherSara & @dandanscienc for your patience and encouragement!

Feel free to share any of your experiences with Google Hangout in the Comment Section below!

Upcoming Post: Using Google Hangout in Education Part 2 - Ways to Incorporate Hangout into the Curriculum

24 comments:

  1. I've never heard about Google Hangout until I saw your post. It sounds exactly like what I've been looking for! A friend and I had just been talking about how it would be great to skype with several people at once. This is great! I'm eagerly awaiting the part 2 post. Thanks so much for posting!

    Farrah
    ThinkShareTeach
    PS I found your blog from the comment you left on my Reviving Four Blocks post. I'm your newest follower here and on twitter!

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  2. Hi Nancy,
    Thank you for exploring Google Hangout with us. I know we had to have time to "play" with the features and to unlock the potential that GHangouts can afford our classes. Thanks to brainstorming we have a plan in place for beginning to use it with our classes. I am looking forward to our continued exploration of this tool.

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  3. @Farrah - Thank you for reading the post and commenting on it. There are many possibilities with Google Hangout! I am not giving up on Skype but I love the idea that you can collaborate 'real time' on documents and watch Youtube videos together. Lots of possibilities. Coincidentally, I'm your newest follower too! Enjoyed reading your blog!

    @Paula - thank you for being such a leader in this area. You are a wonderful teacher who is patient. I love that you are on the cutting edge and bringing your friends along! You're the best! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  4. As always, I learn something new from your blog. Never heard of the Hanfout before, but it appears to have tons of possibilities. Can't wait to hear how it goes this year with implementing it in your classroom. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Nancy,
    I've never heard of a Google Hangout before but saw your tweet to Denise about a Genius Hour one. Would love to join.

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  6. I don't have one and our school district at this point doesn't allow access. However, I sent an email to my superintendent and he's good at letting teachers try new things. I hope that he will allow at least me to try it. Keep you posted.

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  7. Hi Nancy,

    I love the Venn Diagram that quickly and clearly shows the similarities and differences between Skype and Google+.

    I have only been on one Google+ Hangout but am hoping to do so again.

    Would love to have you teach me some of the extra great features that you wrote about. Want to plan a hangout? =)

    Kind regards,
    Tracy

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  8. Just wanted to let you know that you made me want to use Google Hangout too!!!

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  9. Hi Nancy. Going to try Google hang out for the first time later this month! Thanks for the info. Your blog is great!

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  12. I think that's great idea! Why not to use Google Hangouts in education, if it's free and almost all students have a laptop and home Internet. It does have some disadvantages (for example, when kids are at home, they can become easily distracted), but it's a creative way of teaching and I'd recommend to use hangouts. According to Aussie Essay Writer, a lot of educators are using standard methods of teaching and motivating. It makes me think that we need new vision of teaching where there is less teacher talk and more student talk, and more creative and talented teachers who aren't afraid of innovations.

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  21. I couldn't agree more with your views in this post. It's funny because at my local school I saw a teacher using Google Hangouts in class. Learning about the technological world that is rapidly advancing around the younger generation is not only beneficial for them, but for society in general. Thank you for this post, I really enjoyed it.

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  23. I've never heard about Google Hangout until I saw your post. I know we had to have time to "play" with the features and to unlock the potential that G Hangouts can afford our classes. Google hangouts will really helped in education. thanks for sharing such kind of information.

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