Google Hangouts: Possibilities and Limits

On Edutopia, Mary Beth Hertz, recently blogged about using Google Hangouts in education.  Her article is inspirational and really does prompt someone to think of many great ways to use the tool.


Immediately, I thought of how we are currently using webinars as a platform for our students to teach younger students about cyber-safety.  We use Elluminate and like it, but the installation and running process of both the live session and the archived recordings are too clunky.  I wanted to compare Google Hangouts to Elluminate in hopes of swapping presentation tools.


Mary Beth was also inspirational to me in her suggestion of a teacher holding office hours.  She made me think of cyber teachers who may choose this route to conference with their students.  I will definitely be setting up meetings with each of our cyber teachers to show them just how easy it is.



While I am using this article as inspiration for cyber professional development, unfortunately, Google does not make it as easy to use Google Hangouts to host our cyber lessons.

This is why:

We want our cyber lessons to at first be small – meeting with one to two schools to have our students instruct the students in a live setting where each recipient of the instruction has the opportunity to ask our cyber expert questions.  Once the live session is completed, we want to offer our lesson to a wider audience using social media in hopes our lesson benefits many.

Problem #1:  Google Hangout ONLY offers live streaming through Google on Air.  What if we have a fire drill that interrupts our session?  What if a student during the question and answer session provides their full name without the proper permissions?  You get the idea…  We feel as if it is reckless to publish our session in the live setting.

Problem #2:  Google on Air policy states that only individuals aged eighteen and over are allowed to participate in “on Air” sessions.

I would love to make a plea to the Google education staff to consider developing a platform which allows us to host a Google Hangout which includes K-12 age students which can be recorded as an archive and later be posted publicly once we are ensured the content is completely appropriate and proper approval and permissions are granted.

Hopefully Some Day!!!!!!


2 thoughts on “Google Hangouts: Possibilities and Limits

  1. RandiW says:

    I had no idea about either problem #1 or #2 (especially relevant!)

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