I first heard about Google Hangouts during one of our District Technology Learning Community meetings when Toni Allen, computer lab teacher at Timrod Elementary, demonstrated how to use Hangouts and ways to use it at school. After researching Google Hangouts on my own, I contacted Toni to see if I could arrange my first one with her and we did! During a study on American Symbols, one of our 1st grade classes at Lucy T. Davis connected with a first grade class at Timrod to see if we could guess each other’s symbol.
For 2nd grade, we paired with a meteorologist during their study of weather. During the week of President's Day, 1st grade and 4th grade students experienced a virtual tour of Abraham Lincoln's childhood home from a historian and learned facts about Lincoln’s life. During this session, students also participated in a live flipgrid. Students in 4th grade also had the chance to take a journey down the Oregon Trail and see what it was like to live to make the long trek west. They even participated in a live auction firsthand!
Students in 4th grade also had the chance to take a journey down the Oregon Trail and see what it was like to live to make the long trek west. They even participated in a live auction firsthand!
Preparation is key to having a successful Google Hangouts session. Before a Hangout, it is important to make sure students are prepared with materials, but teachers must also establish procedures and expectations for during the Hangout. I also suggest connecting with the other teacher a day or two beforehand to work out any possible technology problems, such as sound and audio.
Google Hangouts is an excellent tool which promotes collaboration while also opening students up to a wider world.
*Any student participating in a Google Hangouts session must have a parent or guardian's consent.