Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Google Hangouts: A Plano Educator Exclusive!

UPDATE November 2016: Google Hangouts on Air has moved to YouTubeLive. Read more about it here: http://planoisdtech.blogspot.com/2016/11/youtube-live-communicate-collaborate.html

If you have not checked this out yet, then now is the time! Grab a buddy in a neighboring room and give it a try!

Why Hangout?

Whether you are a classroom teacher who would like to invite a guest speaker from across the world to virtually connect with students, a curriculum coordinator who wants to get creative with professional development, or a principal who would like to include parents who can't attend an after-school meeting, Google Hangouts is closing gaps and simplifying lives. 

Here are just a few ways to use Hangouts:

How to Hangout

  • In the Google Chrome browser, go to hangouts.google.com
  • Sign in using your PISD email address & network password
  • Click "Video Call"
  • Give it a name and click the arrow to get started!
  • If you have an all-in-one computer, then your webcam and microphone are already built-in! If not, ask your CTA for an external webcam and microphone (that's what I use here in the office).
  • Invite people to join the video conference by clicking the "Invite People" button on the top
    • You can invite people from outside the Plano ISD organization
    • They must have a Google account
  • Check out this excellent graphic with detailed descriptions by the "Geeky GAFE Girl".

  • Hangouts works across devices so it's easy to connect from anywhere! Download the Hangouts app!
    • Side story: My dad has an Android so he was bummed out that he couldn't place video calls like his iPhone Facetime-obsessed family members, until now!
  • More features explained:

Practice Makes Perfect

Be sure to allow enough time before your virtual meeting to practice so that you feel calm and ready for the real deal. As always, feel free to practice with any of us in Instructional Technology!

Disclaimer: This is by no means a thorough how-to for Hangouts. The screenshots above are from presentations I've done on campuses (and will do at TCEA 2016!!) in which I go into more depth. Please reach out if you have more questions or would like me to come help you/your staff learn more! Like how to broadcast to more people, how to record the Hangouts using Hangouts on Air, and setting YouTube privacy settings, to name a few.