Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

Google Hangouts for Distance Learning


Scope of Work for Google Hangouts

  • Description of Technology – What is It?
  • Hardware/Software – What do I need?
  • Benefits – How can it enhance my teaching?
  • Best practice Example –  Can I see a demonstration
  • Contacts/Resources – Where do I go for more help?

 Description of Technology – Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts makes

Hardware / Software – Click Here for Hangouts Tutorial

The first thing you need is a gmail account, headset with mic and a web cam.

Step #1 go to http://plus.google.com

Step #2 Click your name top left of page.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.20.31 PM

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Step #3 Once you click on your name got down left side of page and click more and then look over to right and click Hangouts. Top right of screen you will see START A HANGOUT IN BLUE BOX.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.26.08 PM

Step #4 Give your Hangout a name and input the gmail addresses of those people you want to invite to the hangouts session.  Users without a gmail account will be directed to download a google plug-in before entering the session.

Step #5 Once you give hangout a name click green box Start Hangouts on Air

  Step #6. Once you are in the hangout you should click on settings icon and make sure you audio is calibrated and your appropriate audio input and output are set correctly. I suggest using a headset whenever you record a hangouts session.

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Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 12.39.45 PMStep #7 Familiarize yourself with the Google Hangouts options located vertically along left side of Hangouts screen.  You can put Title Banner across the bottom of the screen using bottom third option, chat with participants using chat function, add more people to the session using the Invite People option, and you can do screen captures using the capture mode.

Step #8 Welcome your participants and give them a quick overview of how Hangouts works, specifically checking their audio and video in addition to showing them how to use the chat feature and telling them how you want them to participate either with audio interaction or chat. I also recommend that you instruct all your hangout participants to mute their microphones while you are talking to keep ambient noise down to a minimum. The can turn their mics on to ask a question and then turn it off again after it is asked.

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 10.53.35 AMStep #9 Make sure you click Start Broadcast button at top of the screen so you will have a complete recording of the entire hangouts session whether that be a lecture, critique session, discussion or “one on one” tutorial. Wait about 10 seconds for the session to start recording – if not you will cut off the first few seconds of your session.

Step #10. Once the session is over you click the end broadcast button and it will be uploaded directly to your YouTube Channel. If you don’t have a YouTube Channel you will want to set one up. Once it is uploaded to YouTube I copy the embedding code and insert it into my online class. I can put it into an announcement or directly into the discussion board.

Best practice pinned on noticeboard

Benefits of Google Hangouts – Best Practices


How can it enhance my teaching?

18 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts adds another (broader) dimension to online teaching, especially when the course is taught totally online, however it can be used in hybrid courses effectively as well. This form of instructional interaction (synchronous teaching) also enhances the online instructor’s ability to connect with students who may have different learning styles in his/her class.

Most students want to be able to hear a lecture, course orientation and/or assignment articulated by their instructor, in addition to just reading it. Google Hangouts is a great online environment for engaging up to 9 students in real time.  The instructor can share his/her computer screen with the students, show a video or PowerPoint presentation and discuss it as it is being shared.

Google Hangouts also add a personal (human touch) to any given online class.  The instructor can emphasize key points to a given lecture and with proper tone and inflection reinforce important course content, text readings and test materials the instructor wants the student to remember.


Google Hangouts can be used for “one on one” instruction, tutoring,  critique sessions, meetings or even office hours when students and faculty cannot meet face to face due to time or distance constraints.

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How do I  incorporate (enhance) Hangouts into my teaching?

Instructors can digitally record their classroom lectures in Hangouts and then embed them to the online courses for students to refer to or listen to if a class is missed. Another method is to write a script for a course orientation or lecture and read and record it in a more controlled environment like an office of recording studio.

Some instructors record their video podcasts and post them immediately to their courses without doing any post production work and others may choose to edit their digital recording in an editing program like audacity.

Google Hangouts recordings go directly to YouTube and can also be  linked to or embedded directly into and course management system in addition to blogs and sent out to students via e-mail.


Contacts and Resources

Google Hangouts Definition

Google Hangouts Learn More Resource

Google Hangouts Features

Google Hangouts Video Overview

How Educators and Schools are Using Google Hangouts

31 Ways to use Google Hangouts in Education

How to use Google Hangouts for Teaching

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