What is Google Hangout?
Google Hangout is a video conferencing program that Google+, Google’s version of Facebook, provides. You can say Google Hangout is similar to Skype, but where they differ is Hangout’s amazing list of features. I first tried out Hangout with my mentor Mark Page. We instantly saw the potential Hangout could have in an education setting. And when I learned about Flipped Classrooms, I thought Google Hangout would be a great tool to record any teacher’s online video lectures.
Here are the features of Google Hangout and how they can be used in a flipped classroom setting:
- Chat face to face anywhere you are with a computer, phone or tablet. Students get to use devices that they use in a daily basis. Student-student and student-interaction can occur anywhere.
- Conduct virtual meetings that allow you to communicate with up to 10 people. Students can finish their group projects together anywhere, if they do not complete them during class period. Students can ask their teachers questions from their homes about the concept they are learning.
- Share and collaborate with people through the use of productivity tools like Google Docs. Students can collaborate and create bodies of work together through the use of Google Docs. Students can also learn content in multiple methods. Google Documents can provide students with text on a specific topic. Teachers can find educational YouTube clips to share with their students. Teachers can demonstrate difficult concepts through Doodle. For example, a math teacher can explain step-by-step how to solve a complex mathematical problem.
- Stream live your conversations with the world on your Google+ profile, YouTube channel or website. Students who are absent can observe what is going on in the classroom, or even participate in a group assignment via video chat.
- You have the option to operate Hangout On Air that automatically saves your conversations onto your YouTube account. This feature is the most important feature to a flipped classroom because it records your lectures and lessons automatically for you. Your students can easily retrieve your online recordings from your YouTube account.
I hope to work with a teacher this in flipping his or her classroom using Google Hangout. I know that there are many online tools that can be used to flip a classroom, but I think Google Hangout has a lot of potential, especially being relatively new.