Our web conference tool was Google Hangouts. This was only my second time using Google Hangouts, the first was introduced during our CEP 812 class meeting. Before we started our Google Hangouts session, I googled how to record a session. I learned that I had to check the “embed” box and then get approval from Youtube before the session would be recorded. During our session on Google Hangouts we, as a group, had an opportunity to explore many of the functions that Google Hangouts provide. The most beneficial feature was the Google Drive tool. This gave us the chance to open up our google document for the entire group to view and discuss the contents. We used the chat feature so that we could communicate with one of our group members who couldn’t get his microphone to work. He was able to see and hear us, but we couldn’t hear him so he wrote his comments. Another group member didn’t have a camera so we were unable to see her, but she was able to see and hear us. We also had a chance to play with the google effects, which was mostly for fun adding hats, sounds and other effects. One area that I found interesting was that whoever was speaking would appear in the main screen. This didn’t happen in the class hangout, but it just demonstrates how smart the tool is.
Our session lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes and was very productive. The group was able to work through the assignment and then we designated individual pieces of the assignment to be completed for both this week and next. We are planning another Google Hangout session for this coming Tuesday night to review what we have done and what needs to be completed for our final PD Flipped session.
As an administrator I have found Google Hangouts to be a very useful tool. Being in a district with eight different buildings and a number of administration meetings this tool will be very helpful. I have already had a chance to discuss this with my Superintendent about possibly using this in place of an actual meeting. It is valuable for the building administrators to be present in their respective buildings and Google Hangouts can accomplish most of the needs we perform during our administration meetings. Ultimately, our goal would be keeping the building administrators in their buildings in case there is a situation that requires their immediate attention. Google Hangouts would allow us to do this.