Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Google Hangouts for Education

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Google+ is Google's answer to Facebook. It works by having users set up Circles to group individuals into specific categories, such as Professional, Friends, Tech, etc. With ones Circles, a user can control what information is shared. For example, instead of sharing links, pictures, and videos to everyone like on Facebook, a user can choose to share what they post to a specific Circle. 

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a group chat feature, which allows the user to set up a video chatroom with up to 10 people. A user can start a Hangout and a notice will go out to everyone in that user's Circles that the user is “hanging out.” A user also has the option to invite specific people to a Hangout. To gain entrance into the chatroom, a user simply has to click on the invite link. 

An awesome feature in the Hangout is the ability to share links, screens, Google docs, Youtube videos, and more. This is great for working on group projects or sharing lessons plans.

I have used Hangouts to connect with other doctoral students to talk about our individual dissertations. I have also "hung" out with educators to discuss an array of issues. And I have used Hangouts to further develop  relationships with people from Twitter. 

On Air Google Hangouts

The on air Hangout is a Hangout that is broadcast live, recorded and uploaded to the user’s individual Youtube Channel.  Youtube does not allow Hangouts to be uploaded to a branded site, such as a company, school, or organization. These are great for leading discussions, for communicating with parents and community leaders, for connecting teachers and schools together within a school district, as well as for using the Hangout to deliver professional development, such as creating conferences like Google's EduOnAir conference. You can also use the on air Hangout to bring in guest speakers, to do class projects with other classes - Think Global Read Aloud, as well as teach online classes. The possibilities are endless. 

I have just scratched the surface with what you can do with Google Hangouts. How are you using Hangouts? Let me know what you are doing. In the meantime, you can join  - a community for educators who want to connect and collaborate on Google+. An additional resource for how educators can use Hangouts is Cybraryman. I look forward to reading your comments.

Check out this on air Hangout from Google's EduOnAir conference:

Will Deyamport, III, is an educational digital strategist, new media trainer, online content creator and Ed.D. Candidate at Capella University. With more than 13 years of experience in seminar and workshop design, Will is a thought-leader, astute at harnessing the power of digital media to build community, learning networks, disseminate information and create authentic learning experiences. In addition to being the founder of, Will is also a guest blogger for myPathfinder Career Blog and has been featured at, Will is working on his dissertation. The topic: Using social media to individualize professional development for teachers. In the future, Will hopes to become a university professor where he hopes to lead the discussions about the social, cultural, technological, and educational issues of our time. He is fueled by engagement and collaboration, and he wants to be a part of an institution that fervently believes in the power of ideas to change how people think and live their lives.

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