Google Hangouts for synchronous online sessions

google-hangout-logo

Google Hangouts is one of Google services which is becoming very popular with online educators around the world and gives you the option to do a video conference with the added features of a webinar. You can make an ordinary video call or go live on YouTube!

It also has smart device apps so everyone can easily use it: Androidios You can even make direct video calls from within your mailbox. If you decide to do a Hangout session on your laptop, don’t forget to install this plug-in first.

To cut the long story short, I am currently training teachers in Malaysia where they have an online course component moderated by a trainer based in Spain. Andy, the e-moderator and I decided to do a Hangout session with my teachers to boost their confidence towards the end of the course and encourage them to show up more often on the online course!!

I have taken screenshots of the steps we took to start the hangout and you can see the steps here:

The advantages of Google Hangouts:

  • Live YouTube stream (public or private)
  • Q&A app which integrates with the video for easy further reference
  • Control Panel to even ‘eject’ participants if they misbehave or share copyright-ed material
  • Chat box
  • Link Share box with the audience
  • Easy integration with Google Drive
  • Embed link to share the video on your own website
  • Screensharing
  • Photo capture app
  • YouTube editor to edit the video later and add your logo or even an introduction

The disadvantages:

  • Only 10 camera sharing participants
  • Only 8 hours of recording (isn’t it enough, though?!)

There are some other platforms to do similar things like SkypeVSEE and TokBox but I have found Google Hangouts more fun!

What’s your favourite online meeting app?

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