Jan 15, 2016

Hangouts III: Live Stream; Record with Hangouts on Air

Hangouts on Air (HoA) is a Google service that enables you to live stream your Hangout to YouTube and automatically records the event and publishes it to YouTube when completed.  You may ask, "why would I want to do that?"  Let's explore some exciting possibilities, and how to implement them!

Record a lesson and share it with students

The following video on how to reset your CMS course was created and uploaded to YouTube automatically using our district laptop and Hangouts on Air.

Now imagine creating short videos related to your curriculum where you can record yourself, your screen and SMART board, and them make them available to your students through all of the options present in YouTube (embedded into CMS/Classroom/Google Form/SchoolWires/Google Slides, a link placed in an email or Google Doc, etc...).  It is an amazingly simple way to make your lessons extend outside of the classroom and a great introduction to flipped or blended learning.

Stream an event from your school to the community

When you conduct a HoA, the Hangout can be live streamed to the public if you choose.  Note: It is important to point out here that anytime something is broadcasted to the public, one must keep in mind the privacy issues of those being broadcasted.  Refer to the image/video guidelines that are distributed to families at the beginning of each school year and the exclusion flags present in Skyward.  This means that the community can watch the event live as it happens.  This allows you to stream events such as concerts, club activities, spelling bees, athletic events, and more to the parents of your students.  You can also have up to 15 people participate in the HoA as well.  This means that they can share their screens and their audio to the event.  For anyone who cannot watch the event live, remember that it is automatically recorded and posted to YouTube for you to make available as you see fit!

When you are conducting your HoA you will see an icon in the lower right corner of your screen which gives you access to the live stream links.  Simply make that YouTube link available, or use the embed code to place the live stream on your, or your school's, SchoolWires page.


HoAs can be active for up to 8 hours at a time, so streaming/recording a long event is no problem.  Below is a HoA recording of a training session given regarding LanSchool.  The event was started when the training began, the screen was shared, and then forgotten about until the event was over.  No interaction or control was necessary to stream/record the event.  When finished, the recording was automatically uploaded to my district YouTube account.  Within YouTube, I was even able to edit the video (trim off the beginning and end and add text, notes, etc... to the screen)!

Getting started with HoA

Once the initial setup process is complete (making sure you have your district YouTube and Google+ account active), the start-to-finish process of recording and sharing your video is very simple.

  • Schedule HoA
  • Broadcast your event
  • End your event
  • Make any edits you desire in YouTube
  • Share it with the world
The setup steps are detailed here on Google's official help pages.  I also recommend speaking with an instructional coach about best practices for integration.

Sean Mullins | Instructional Technology Coach

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