July 31, 2013

How to use Google Hangouts in the Classroom: Tips from Students (Guest Post)


This is a guest post by Jasmine Doan. Jasmine is a rising Junior at Seabury Hall. She is keenly interested in math, technology, and student enrichment opportunities.

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Google Hangout is not only a free educational web tool, but also a fun activity for your students to collaborate outside of the classroom.  Teachers can implement Google Hangouts to…

1. Discuss a book (using the voice feature to propose a question and the chat feature to write your responses)

2. Host a hangout (I recommend groups of 4) to practice using new vocabulary and phrases for a foreign language class

3. Use Google docs, spreadsheet or presentation feature to do peer editing for projects/essays

4. Watch Youtube videos together to spark a discussion

5. Practice oral presentations.

6. Have a test study session (using the voice feature to propose a question and the chat feature to write your responses)

Students can learn and have fun at the same time with Google Hangouts!

Jasmine and Ms. Linda Lindsay trying out some of the Effects in Hangouts

A member of my Google Hangout study group, Anna Ezzy, says “Google hangouts are great because you can have fun while studying. The best part is the stickers app. With this app, you can casually wear a mustache and snorkel gear while you work with your friends!"

Dos and Don’ts for Google Hangouts

If teachers decide to set up a Google Hangout, they should make sure that students take turns in the discussion. It is important that the students mute their microphones when others are talking to avoid interrupting their peers' train of thought.  

Personally, I think teachers should not require students to use Google Hangouts for an after school assignment because it is challenging for students to find a time to meet during the weekdays. However, Google Hangouts is a great study tool for the teachers to share with their students, especially for collaborative projects. If the teachers made an optional Google Hangout, they may spark a deeper discussion because they will attract students who need help.  The hangout can also help teachers determine which concepts their students need more clarification. 

Seabury Hall High School Math Team Google+ Community

On a side note, teachers could also create a Google Community where students can post questions. The teachers could have their students reply to their peers questions or +1 the posts if they also do not have the answer to the question. The teacher could then use this information to create a Google Hangout addressing these questions or go over these questions in class the following day. 

Google Hangouts is a great tool to implement in the classroom. Here is a link to more information on how other teachers implement Google Hangouts in their classrooms - http://bit.ly/16qAchK.

Good luck testing Google Hangouts! 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at jdoan15@seaburyhall.org.

Enjoy!

Jasmine Doan