Sunday, March 15, 2015

25 Ways Educators Across the Country are Using Google Hangouts

Yesterday, I blogged about our celebration of Digital Learning Day at Hoover High School and our week of Digital Challenges. We held a day of PD on Google Hangouts and I invited members of my PLN to join us throughout the day to share ideas with us about how to use GHOs at school. Today, I'm sharing those ideas with you.

First, let me share with you who visited us via Google Hangouts. 
Lisa Meade (@LisaMeade23) 
Jennifer Roach (@JennGRoach)   
Kayla Hall (@HallKaylaR ) 
Alicia Dudley (@mrsadudley ) 
Tara Havard (@TaraHavard_ ) 
Vicki Randolph (@VRandolph1 ) 
Jason Markey (@JasonMMarkey) 
Melissa Eddington (@melsa777) 
Kory Graham (@tritonkory) 
Eric Turner (@_ericturner) 
Jonathan Kegler (@JonathanKegler) 
Nathan Barber (@_nathanbarber) 
Reed Gillespie (@rggillespie) 
Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd) 
Garnet Hillman (@garnet_hillman) 
Amy Fadeji (@mrsfadeji)
I reached out on Twitter and asked if there was anyone who would like to spend 10-15 minutes with us and share how they were using GHOs. It was especially cool for the two tech guys and me to spend the entire day hosting PD during teachers' off periods. By the end of the day, we had heard from 16 different
educators from all over the country. 

Here are the ways GHOs are being used or have been used by them:

  • Bring in experts, such as Rick Wormeli and Dave Burgess, to "talk" with staff
  • Google Hangout with 5th/6th graders and Kindergarten students, where older students performed science experiment and explained to younger students what they were doing an the scientific principles they were testing
  • Four kindergarten teachers all do lesson planning with each other via GHOs. Instead of doing it at school, they get home, take care of their own families, then collaborate via Google Docs an GHOs. They said it is a huge time-saver!
  • In one school, they use GHOs between classes of the same grade level who perform the same science experiments an compare data
  • Google Hangout with an author
  • Google Hangout parent conference for parents who can't come in for a meeting
  • Weekly PLC meetings between campuses via GHO
  • Use hangouts with classes when a sub is there such as a greeting to start class when you, the teacher, are not there
  • In one school, their Engineering class worked with a class in another state on the same project
  • One high school's student leadership team got to work with members of Google X team via GHOs.
  • One administrator did a GHO with a PE teacher in New Jersey who wanted to get input on a presentation he was working on
  • One administrator used GHO to talk to Jonathan Kegler’s university class
  • One school's librarian reads to students in other schools
  • A Kindergarten teacher connected with a teacher at an alternative school, and his alternative school students in Tennessee have been reading to her Kindergarten students in rural Minnesota
  • When students go on vacation, the student on vacation can share about the location with students who may not ever get the chance to travel there
  • One administrator in a private school has interviewed students for the school via GHO
  • Several administrators have done initial teacher interviews via GHO to save the candidate on airfare
  • GHOs have been used to connect foreign language students in different schools. 
  • Teachers hold office hours online via GHO for students to get extra help
  • Distance learning has been done with other schools via GHO
  • GHOs have been used for meetings for book chats
  • One school does 40-60 per year, including GHOs with authors, athletes, White House, Miss America and Mystery GHOs
  • One school has used GHOs in conjunction with Genius Hour to connect with experts
  • One school uses GHOs with students who are hospitalized
  • Another teacher surveys parents and asks, "Do you have any level of expertise?" Then the teacher sets up GHO with those parents.

Two pieces of advice from the day? 

"Take a risk and try it." 
Our tech guy, Keith Fulmer, told the teachers he gives a 100% guarantee. 
They just need the idea, and he'll make it work.

"Keep it simple"
It doesn't have to be an original or outrageous idea. Reach out and connect you students and/or school to new ideas, people, and opportunities for learning.


  1. Jennifer, thanks again for the opportunity. GHO (and Skype) really are game changers for us. One of my teachers reminded me that we also used a recorded clip message (I thought it was GHO but it was on youtube) to interact with one of those amazing authors above. I love the idea of using the GHO between buildings with younger kids. That is one I am stealing! You somehow always bring me the best ideas when I need them.

    1. So glad I could connect these other educators' ideas with you. This represents the true heart of collaboration and the philosophy, "We are better together." Keep up the good work with GHOs!

  2. These are great ideas and many I hadn't considered before - thanks! I think GHO has definitely been a great connecting tool that has helped my class this year. It makes learning come alive for sure!

    1. Jen, so glad to hear you are able to use GHOs with your students. The PD sessions really opened my eyes to possibilities. I hope more educators will take advantage of this easy digital tool!