Let’s Hangout! (An intro to video chatting with Google Hangouts)

Rebecca KeelingGoogle, Tutorials

Google Hangouts Logo

Video calls can link your classroom to the world!

Google Hangouts allows the user to “hangout” with other users by chat or video. (It’s already part of the WWCSD staff accounts.) If you’ve opened your district email account you may have already seen a shortcut to Google Hangouts (in the bottom left of the screen.) It can also be reached at hangouts.google.com or by using the mobile app.

In order to video chat you need a camera (such as on a chromebook, chromebase or webcam) but you can also participate in a hangout without a camera by using the chat feature.

General Instructions to launch a Video Hangout:

  1. Open Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
    google hangouts screen instructions

    Pic 1

  2. Choose “Video call” (This should be in the center of the screen) (Pic 1)
  3. Enter the name of the Hangout (all participants need to know this to join the call) and press enter to launch the call (Pic 2)
    google hangouts screen instructions

    Pic 2

  4. View your call options:
    1. Call Options (Top center of the screen) (Pic 3)
      google hangouts screen instructions

      Pic 3

      1. Invite people – you can invite people to join the call
      2. Microphone – mutes or unmutes the audio (Helpful when having multiple participants)
      3. Camcorder – mutes or unmutes the video feed
      4. Phone – hangs up the call
    2. Chat options (Left of main screen)
      1. Blue Chat Button – open the chat window to the right of the screen (non-video participants can communicate using this) (Pic 4)
      2. Screen share – share your screen with participants
        google hangouts screen instructions

        Pic 4

How can I use this in the classroom?

Some integration ideas:

  • Connect with another classroom to collaborate on a project.
  • Connect to a presenter outside of school to share their expertise with your students.
  • Have a virtual book club
  • Conduct a quiz bowl with other classes
  • Connect with staff to exchange ideas

No matter how you use Hangouts it can be a fabulous way to connect with others and make new connections. If you don’t know where to start, we have lots of ideas! Ask a technology interventionist for more ideas or support in setting up a Hangout.

Keep an eye out for different virtual training opportunities with the Technology Interventionists!