When fellow Google Certified Teacher Tanya Avrath invited 46 from the #GTANY cohort to drop in for five minutes to help her show the power of PLNs (professional learning networks) to her class, I was happy to accept.
It sounded like fun!
The time of day was a little problematic. I was supposed to be checking in my advisees and leading them to the reflection pond area of our campus, for a school-wide assembly.
What to do?
I should bring my laptop along with me outside, I decided, and go from there. I figured other GTANYers would enjoy the scenery.
The Hangout turned out great! Much to my delight, our Headmaster Mr. Joe Schmidt came over to see what I was doing and ended up inviting the group for a gathering on campus. Summer is a good time, he mused.
|Photo by Ned Simonds|
The group included a principal from Illinois, two educators from Ohio -- a district administrator and an ed tech specialist, a teacher-librarian from Maryland, an ed tech specialist from New York, two professionals from New Jersey -- a Google lead learner and a director of curriculum and technology, and two classroom teachers from California. And of course, Tanya, who's an educational technology teacher in Quebec. Many others wanted to join in, but couldn't because of schedule conflicts.
This was so easy! All that was needed was a Gmail account, set up of a Google+ account, and download of a plug-in. Up to 10 people can participate at one time, and if the Hangout link is shared or the event is made public, anyone can view and enjoy.
If the Hangout had been a show-and-tell, I would have included the group in the beautiful Hawaiian canoe blessing ceremony that took place in front of Cooper House, with the entire student body witnessing. It was a heart-filling event.
Are there more Hangouts in my future? Most definitely.
Would I recommend them? Whole-heartedly!