Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Google+ Hangouts: A Must-Have Easy-To-Use Technology Tool in Academia

Google+ Hangouts: A Must-Have Easy-To-Use Technology Tool in Academia 

by Varun Khanna
Google Hangouts are free audio & video online sessions. Fun. Easy-to-Use. Interactive.

What is Google Hangout?
An easy-to-use, free, online interactive and engagement audio/video tool for small groups (up to 15 for Pepperdine community).

Who can use Google Hangout?
Anyone with a Google+ account. 

What devices does Google Hangout support?
PC, Mac, or Smartphone/Tablet (iPhone, iPad or iPad mini).

10 things to know about Google+ Hangouts for Pepperdine faculty and student community
1.  Go to http://google.pepperdine.edu and click on Google Drive. Sign in using your Wavenet ID credentials.  Signing up for free at google.peppedine.edu has advantages. You get 30GB of cloud hard drive space for free. Additionally, Google Hangouts allows you up to 15 users (as opposed to 10 when you sign up with your personal Gmail account). Lastly, you can communicate with your Pepperdine community at lightning fast speeds.
Google.pepperdine.edu. Sign up to get 30 GB free.
2.  On the top left click on +You.  After you have signed up for Google+ the same link will change to +YourName. During the sign up process it is imperative that you list your age > 13 or Google will not allow you to sign up for Hangouts. 

Before Signing up with Google+

Click on +You and proceed to sign up for a Google + account

After Signing up with Google+
+YourName confirms that you have signed up for Google+ and can use Google Hangouts
3. Look for thesymbol on the right side once you are in Google +. This is the Google Hangout symbol.

4. You can create an immediateGoogle Hangout by inviting students/colleagues that are already online. 

5.  Or, you can go the left sidebar and create a futureGoogle Hangout event and invite students/colleagues. Note: There is a maximum of 15 invitees (including yourself for a Pepperdine Google Hangout event).
Google Side Bar menu. Click on Events to create Google Hangout session.
6.  Alternately, you may go to Google Calendar and create an event and invite your colleagues or students to the Google Hangout event. (Recommended)
  • Title your Google Hangout Event
  • Choose date and time. Important: Choose your time zone. This is especially important for online sessions when students and professor are spread out across different time zones.
  • If you are going to be using video please do not forget to click on Add Video Call.
  • You can set up Alerts to remind you about your upcoming Hangout meeting.
  • As Pepperdine faculty/students you can invite up to 15 (including yourself).
  • SAVE will allow you to send invites and the event will automatically be added to your Google Calendar
Setting up Google Hangouts using Google Calendar (recommended)
7.  You may also choose to record your Pepperdine Google Hangout session on YouTube. With Pepperdine Google Hangouts you are not restricted to the usual 15 minute recording as you would be on your regular Gmail account. 

8.  Note: your Google Hangout session will be made public by YouTube unless you change the video settings (Video Manager)  to private after your Google+ Hangout session has finished recording. 

9.  Too may users? Bandwidth issues? Jerky video? Turning off your Google Hangout camera with a single click may help. If you have your image uploaded it will default to the photo. You can also turn off your microphone within Google Hangout itself.

10.   During your Google Hangout, you can share in real time Google docs, folders, presentations, desktop as well videos with your student group.

You can always email techlearn@pepperdine.edu for a one-on-one consultation to learn how to use Google Hangouts.