Dec 11, 2015

Hangouts Post I: Connect with a Colleague

For our first in a series of posts on the value of using Google Hangouts in your work, I want to walk you through how to set up your first communication with a colleague in our district.  Topics in this post will include…
  • Accessing Hangouts for the first time
  • Searching for colleagues
  • Starting a text based chat
  • Doing your first video chat
  • Sharing your screen with you colleagues

To access Google Hangouts, you will need to navigate to https://hangouts.google.com.  Personally, because I use this site regularly, I “pin” the tab in my Chrome browser by right clicking the tab and choosing the “Pin tab” option.

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Your welcoming screen will display a list of previous conversations on the left side.  Clicking in the “New conversation” box at the top of that white window will allow you to search for anyone in the district.  Once you have found the person that you want to send a message to, click their name.  A grey chat window will appear, and you can now send your first Hangout text!

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Note: the user on the other end will not be automatically notified that you have sent them a message unless they are signed into Hangouts themselves.  So spread the word and get more people on!  You can also install the Hangouts app on your mobile devices for more instant notifications.

If we talk a closer look at the message window, we will see the icons that allow us to start a video call and add other people to the chat/call.

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Once the video call is initiated, the other person will be notified with a pretty ringtone as long as they are signed into Hangouts.  Once the call is accepted, you both will need to make sure that your camera and microphones are enabled in Chrome.  You will see a little popup window at the top of your screen if you need to allow this.

While inside your video call, you have access to a variety of commands.  You can add others to the call, mute your mic/webcam, and even share your screen.  See the image below for what to click to do any of these functions.

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I hope this initial primer gets you up and going.  Please let your technology coaches know if you would like a personal training session on Hangouts.  Let's start chatting with our colleagues, helping each other over video, and even connecting across district with others who can bring an exciting voice into our classrooms!  I’ll see all again next week when we will cover another exciting Hangouts topic!

Sean Mullins | Instructional Technology Coach

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