Google Hangouts are a great way to connect classrooms. Imagine your class taking with the author of a book you just read, or bringing a voyager from the Malama Honua Voyage you’re studying into your classroom. The possibilities are endless (check out the end of this post for classroom ideas). But what exactly is a Google Hangout and how do you even get started?
A Google Hangout, or GHO, a free video conferencing tool with up to 10 participants. But wait, don’t think polycom, think easy way to talk with someone right from your computer, wherever you are. No need to book a special room or pay for fancy equipment. But it’s really WAY better than video conferencing. You can share your screen, share a Google Doc, chat, wear a party hat, and more! Ready to get started? It’s Easy. All you need is a Google Plus account. If you’re a teacher at Kamehameha Schools, you have one. If not, all you need is a gmail account. Here are instructions for setting up a Google Plus Account.
Here are simple instructions for creating a Google Hangout:
Hover your cursor over Home and scroll down and click on Hangouts
On the bottom right, hover your cursor over Start a Video Hangout and then click on Start a Video Hangout
Invite people to attend via email by entering email addresses into the email field and click on Invite
Or, click on change and copy the link to the hangout to share with participants
Below is an infographic that explains the meaning of the icons that are in the Hangout:
And here’s an explanation of the icons at the top of your GHO:
I’ve found the best way to collaborate on a Google Doc in GHO is to just paste the link to your document in the chat.
Now, start your Hangout and bring your conversations to life!
The educational application of Google Hangouts really are limitless. Here’s a list of some ideas but please feel free to comment on this post to share your ideas:
take a virtual field trip
invite an author into your classroom
connect with another class
broadcast a presentation (GHO on air allows for more viewers)
If you’re familiar with Skype in the Classroom you are probably familiar with their robust website for connecting educators with other educators to collaborate globally. I have not found Google Hangout website that is as good as skypes, but I did find these Google Plus Communities:
This week’s Tuesday Tech Tidbit (#TTTidbit) is using Google Tour Builder. Google Tour Builder is a Google Earth Plugin that allows you to add images, videos, and text to google earth. But reading about it just doesn’t demonstrate just how cool this tool actually is. Here are some examples you should check out:
Seriously. How cool is that? Google tour builder is such an awesome tool that both teachers and students can use to share their work. Speaking of sharing…people always want to know if the tours are public or private. The tours are shared just like a Google Doc so that’s up to the person creating the tour. You choose to keep it private or share it with the world.
Can you imagine? Using Tour Builder to map the migration of the Polynesians? Or how about a tour of an Ahupua’a including its irrigation and lowland and upland elements? Studying World History? Create a tour of the American’s attack on the Nazis.
I’m actually looking at buying a new house so I created a tour of all of the houses I want to look at, included pictures and pros and cons of each house and was able to share the tour with my family. It was a fun way to get started learning the tool and now I’m hooked! Hey, this might be an awesome tool for Real Estate Agents…
Our #TTTidbit face to face session will actually be next Monday in Kainoa’s room at 3:00. If you’re interested in learning more, hope to see you there or just let me know when a good time to meet is.
If you’re reading this blog and have used Google Tour Builder as a teacher or had your students use it, I would love if you would share your projects! Or, if you have any ideas for a tour, leave me a comment!
Last week’s Tuesday Tech Tidbit (#TTTidbit) was a Face to Face session on how to use EDpuzzle to meet the needs of learners. Edpuzzle is one of my favorite teaching tools that allows teachers to keep students ENGAGED while watching videos by adding questions, notes, and more to their own videos, as well as videos created by others. Additionally, you can browse a bank of teacher created EDpuzzles that you can use and or modify to meet the needs of your class.
But wait! There’s more! Once your video/lesson is created, you can track your student’s progress. Not only can you track which students have watched lessons, but you also have access to haw well each students performed on each question as well as a class. This is awesome for individualized instruction and also to help you drive your own instruction based on whole class performance on questions.
There are even more awesome features to EDpuzzle, but the one we like best at our school is their customer service. If you have a question or need assistance, the EDpuzzle team gets back to you right away. For example, we teach Hawaiian Language at our school and EDpuzzle didn’t support Hawaiian, that is until one of our teachers sent them an email and within a couple hours, Hawaiian was added to their languages. Seriously. How awesome is that? The team is constantly trying to make improvements to their tool and meet the needs of their users.
Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?
Here’s an example of an EDpuzzle:
Have you used EDpuzzle? How do you like it? If you haven’t, be sure to check them out at https://edpuzzle.com!
I have to admit, it took me a long time to get back into iMovie after Apple stopped making iMovie HD. I knew iMovie HD like the back of my hand and refused to learn iMovie ’09 because it was so different. Apple is constantly making improvements to their products and with improvements come change. Now here’s the thing…when you’re in the classroom and you’ve done something a certain way for quite a while and then all of a sudden it’s different, it kind of throws a wrench in your lesson, am I right?
This recently happened to one of my favorite teachers who uses the Green Screen feature in iMovie. Here’s a little video I created for her to use with her students with instructions on how to use the Green Screen Feature in iMovie 11:
This week’s tidbit are tips for organizing student research using Google Docs.
There are many different ways to organize research, but because the Google Research tool is just so awesome, using Google Docs is just a no brainer. The document below is a modification of this document via Mark Fijor (view his presentation Google Docs and the Common Core).
You’ll notice in column 2 students insert the link to their reference as well as cite their reference. What this does is it organizes their research and their citations all in one place. Students can refer to the footnote when creating their Works Cited page for their products.
Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers shared the video below on how to substitute the note card method of organizing research with Google Slides. While Google Scholar is available for citations, I prefer Google Documents over Slides because of the cite feature. This is not to take away from the method. I still think it’s fabulous!
How do you use Google to organize your student research?
I absolutely love this quote. I try my best to respond positively to challenging situations, but I am human after all…Something that I find challenging in my work is how to respond positively to people who react negatively. They just suck the life right out of me sometimes. One way I do so is by focusing on why I do what I do. And when it comes down to it, that’s helping kids.
It’s 2015 and to start off the NEW YEAR I’m introducing TUESDAY TECH TIDBIT. Every Tuesday I’ll post a Tech Tidbit to my blog. In addition, there will be face to face Tech Tidbits!
This week’s #TTTidbit is coming on a Wednesday! Do you know your students can conduct research right in Google Docs? Why yes, yes they can and it’s a piece of cake! View the video below for a tidbit on using the Google Research Tool.
Next week I’ll have a face to face tidbit in Kainoa’s Room at 3:00 focussing on using Google Drive to organize student research. BONUS – everything will be aligned to Common Core. I hope to see you there!
I know, I know, it’s a Google Summit but can’t we all just get along Google and Apple? Why yes, yes we can! We can use Google drive to share our iBook and .iba files! And now that Google Drive has unlimited storage for educators, well let’s make more books people!
Presentation on iBooks Author at the Maui Google Summit