Google Hangouts makes it easy to connect with people from around the globe, right from the classroom. Students who participate in Google Hangouts should be prepared for the experience. It is important that they understand their role, know when to chime in or sit back and have a few tips in their back pocket for troubleshooting technology issues.
A Google Hangout is a web-based video conferencing tool that lets users connect with multiple people using their Google account. It can be used on a computer connected to the Internet or on a smart phone or mobile tablet with the Google Hangout app. The built-in microphone and camera on your device lets you hear and see the person you are talking to on the other line. Google Hangouts allow more than one person to join the call so a handful of people can be part of the conference even if they are in different locations. It gives users the ability to share their screen, type into a chat box, and easily show YouTube videos.
Teachers have used Google Hangouts in a variety of ways. A guest speaker can give a short talk in your classroom, students can interview an expert on a topic, or classes from across the globe can connect virtually. Google Hangouts make this work easier for teachers as they plan the logistics of bringing a visitor to their school. This tool also makes it possible to take students on virtual field trips to places and spaces too far away or simply unfeasible.
No matter what type of Google Hangout is taking place in your classroom students should be prepared for the event. This can include:
Google Hangouts is a great tool for educators. Teachers can prepare students for these online events by making a plan that relates to their goals. Students can learn so much by virtually visiting places and speaking to experts in the field. With Google Hangouts the opportunities to explore the world and learn from others are endless!
Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
Is there a rule regarding the age of students who participate? Does the teacher need permission from parents?
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