Google hangouts allows user to connect and communicate with other users in multi-user video rooms. Up to ten users can hang out at one time in a multi-user room. Hangout can be simple or complex, as it needed. It is use to hold a company meeting; discuss a particular topic or issue, or a simple video chat or using extra application and add-ons that is provided by Google. Hangouts share your computer screen so that other users in the hangout can actually see what is on your screen. You have the privilege to share any available or open window on your computer. You can share Google drive files and work together in writing notes or draw on a whiteboard. Google hangout is incorporated with Google Calendar. A user can add hangouts to their calendar events; join hangouts from the calendar events or reminders directly. In addition, you can use the option Hangouts on Air; it lets you broadcast your hangout, a great option for large presentation, lecture, or demonstration. After the live broadcast, you can edit the recording of the meeting and you can share the recording on YouTube. Google hangout is a strong and practical meeting place. All you need is a Google Plus account to start a Google Hangouts. Invite some individuals and begin your live video meeting.
Simple steps for you follow to use a Google Hangouts:
- Creating a Hangout
- Sign in to Google Plus. You need a Google account like the account you use for Gmail. Google Plus is a social network site that is specifically designed for Google account holders.
- Find the hangout frame. It is located on the right upper portion of the Google plus page. On that portion, you can see a list of your current Hangouts with your recently emailed contacts.
- Create a new hangout. You click the plus New Hangout portion at the top of the hangout list. The list will change to a list of your contacts and Google plus circles. You can check the box next to any users that you want to add to the hangout.
- Choose your Hangout format. There is an option to start either a video or a text hangout; turn on a text chat into a video chat at your convenience.
- Chatting in Google Hangouts
- Add emoji to your conversation. Click or tap the smiley face on the left portion of the chat field. There list of emoticons and emoji you can choose from. The emoticons are separated in different categories that you can navigate by selecting the icons at the top of the screen on emoticons.
- Share pictures. In your hangout, you can add images by clicking the camera icon. It is located at the right portion of your chat field; select Image window on a computer or an option menu on mobile devices. Webcam or phone camera can be used to take photos. You can add photos from other sources like your computer or phone memory.
- Adjust your chat settings. Using a computer, click the Gear icon on your chat window to choose your settings on archive. You can block any users anytime.
- Turn the chat into a video chat. When you click the button at the top of the chat box, the other person receives a notification that you attempt to start a video chat. On both the computer and mobile devices, you can use the video chat.
- Starting a Hangout Party
- Open the Google plus website. At the bottom-right corner of the window is the link to create hangout party. It is available up to 10 users. It connects everyone through text and video. Sharing YouTube and document collaboration is allowed. In addition, mobile users can join a hangout party with a limited access to extra features.
- Describe the gathering and invite people. When you start the hangout, you are prompted to enter a description and add users to the invite list and send as invites.
- Start Chatting. With a correctly figured camera, you can automatically start chatting. A bottom pane in the hangout window shows all of the users connected. At the right pane houses is the text chat. Just click the Chat icon if you cannot see the text chat.
- Capture Images. Click the capture button in the left menu if there is something on display that you want to remember or save. A camera icon appears and a picture of the screen is taken when you click it.
- Share YouTube videos. Just click the YouTube left button in the menu to start the hangout. You can add videos to playlist and for everyone to play simultaneously. Anyone in the group can change the playback or skip videos. During the playback video, the microphone is muted. You can click the “push to talk” to say something during the video.
- Display your screen. By clicking the screen share button, new window opens with list of your windows and programs; you can share specific window or your entire display. It is also useful to someone who needs to troubleshoot a program and share another program with everyone in the chat.
- Add effects to the Video. Click the Google effects menu to open the right side of the window to replace the chat frame. By dragging the effects into the video chat playback to add effects like glasses, hats, and other fun decorations. You can also remove all the effects by clicking the “X remove all effects” link. +
- Collaborate on documents. You can add Google drive documents in your hangout for the members to work on it. By clicking the Add apps, list of available apps appears. You can also share the documents; create a shared notebook or sketchpad with you email address and confirm to continue.
- Mute your microphone or camera. Just click the mute button in the menu to mute microphone or camera. On both icons, microphone and camera if it is on mute mode, there is a slash through it.
- Adjust your bandwidth settings. Lower your bandwidth setting by clicking the button if the video is not coming smoothly. If you lower the slider, the quality of video lowers.
- Adjust your camera and microphone settings. By clicking the Gear icon, a window appears with a small image of your webcam feed. For computers with more than one camera or microphone attached, the feature is useful.
- Leave the hangout. After chatting is done, just simply click the exit button.
- Broadcasting Hangout
- Visit the Hangout website. Through different website than Google plus, hangouts on air are accessed. The website shows the current hangout on air and the standard hangouts sidebar.
- Click “Start Hangout on Air.” A good hangout name can attract more viewers and invite more users similar to a regular hangout party window. This will broadcast your hangout to anyone. Those who joined the hangout can only see and hear you.
- Get organized. All your notes are in order if you giving a lecture. Just click broadcast button if you are ready and it is now viewable by the public.
- Feature your guests. You can click the guest’s thumbnail to focus the any guest who joined the hangout.
- Assessing hangout on the go
- Download the Application. By opening, the Google play store on your Android device or the application store on your iOS device, and search for hangouts. The application is free to download. Most Android device come with Hangouts preinstalled and replaces the old Talk application.
- Run the Application. You will be asked to log in with your Google account the first time to upload an application. When the application opens, list of your recent hangouts is seen.
- Swipe to the left to create a new hangout. You can add contacts from the list or search for users by name and phone number.
How useful is Google hangouts in the Classroom?
Google Hangout is not merely a free educational web tool but it is also a fun activity for the students in the classroom to work together. Educators implement Google Hangout with the following objectives:
- Discuss a Book. Using the voice feature to suggest a question and using the chat feature to write some responses to the question.
- Host a Hangout. This is useful for groups to practice using the phrases and vocabulary intended for a foreign language class.
- Use Google Documents, spreadsheet, and presentation features to perform peer editing, for projects or essays.
- Watch YouTube videos together to ignite a discussion.
- Practice presentations orally.
- A study Session. Using the voice feature to suggest a question and using the chat feature to write some responses to the question.
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