Google is trying to revolutionize the online social world, and it might just succeed. One of the features built into the network is something called “Hangouts”. We want to share a few thoughts on how we think Hangouts might be beneficial in your classroom.
A Hangout is, essentially, a video chat room for up 10 people. When starting your hangout you can choose your different circles of friends or colleagues to hangout with. It then opens the room and allows anyone from your selected circles to join in the hangout, up to 10 people at once. As long as there are 2 people in the hangout, it will remain open. In other words it isn’t hosted or owned by the creator, which allows the conversation to move and evolve in a real fashion and less constrained by the tool. Although video chatting isn’t new, this concept of a hangout is a giant leap forward.
At Friends’ Central, we have not enabled Google+ for students yet so if you want to try using Hangouts with your students, they would have to have set up personal Google+ accounts. In the future, students may have the ability to use Google+ with their FCS Google accounts.
Here are some ideas you could try to get started using Hangouts with your students. Continue reading