Summer = time to hangout. When I think of hanging out, I think of friends, fun, and food. Google Hangout is a great way to collaborate with others – friends, fun, and …(well, I guess you will have to bring your own food).
First, you need to be set up with Google Plus. Everyone at our organization, WJU, is already a part of Google Plus – it just may not be activated. To activate your account, sign in to Gmail. Then look at the top left corner. You will see an icon such as this:
Mine is activated, so my name appears. If yours is not activated, it will say +You. Click this link. You will be brought to your Google Plus homepage. You may need to set this up initially by filling in your gender, birthdate, etc. It will also ask you to upload a photo of yourself. One you step through the initial set up pages, your Google Plus page will be all set.
Up at the top right, you will see this icon:
You may click people who are available to hangout, or you may go to the bottom to “start a party”:
Teachers, this is a great way to collaborate with students. Create “circles” for your courses in Google Plus and add the students for each course. When you collaborate together, you may do so by selecting the entire circle of students. Please note that your “hangout” will be limited to 15 members at a time.
Not only can you video chat during a hangout session, you can also chat, share your computer screen, or use Google effects (add a silly hat or sunglasses to your picture). My favorite thing about hangouts are the additional apps available.
Scoot and Doodle is a collaborative whiteboard. While this fun video demonstrates drawing together, imagine the possibilities as a teacher. How about working out a math problem together? Scoot and Doodle is an excellent tool for visual thinking.
Symphonical is a task and project management app. Users may create “walls” to share during a hangout.
So – don’t you want to try a hangout this summer?