Google Hangouts!

UPDATE:  Please make sure that if you have a HCS Help Desk question that you continue emailing or calling 270.769.7948.  These are the modes of communication preferred for our Help Desk! Thanks so much!

A few weeks ago I did a (really dumb) Facebook live stream on Google Hangouts.  I recently had a light bulb moment that we need to spread the Google Hangout love in Hardin County Schools.  This is an app that all staff have access to in our HCS Google Apps for Education domain and only a handful of us out there are utilizing it.

Basically, Hangouts is your Google version of Skype (or Lync or whatever it’s called now) but …way cooler.  🙂  When I did my first (2 day) Tour de Hardin County Schools I realized, first hand, the sheer geographical size of our district.  Wowzers.

A few days before I did this live stream I got a call from a teacher at one of our elementary schools.  This particular elementary school was relatively close to my office…Maybe a quick 15 minute drive. It just so happened, the day this teacher needed me to come over and help, was the exact same day I was without a vehicle at Central Office (my cars first ever detail!).  Out of sheer desperation (from the both of us) we were quick on our feet and decided to do a Google Hangout.  I started the hangout, grabbed the link, sent the link to her in an email.  She jumped on a Chromebook, clicked the link, she asked her questions, screen shared, and we were done in a good solid 15 minutes.

THEN…as soon as I ended her call I thought…wow.  That was incredibly productive but also incredibly EFFICIENT.  Instead of me driving to this school and spending 30 minutes in the car roundtrip, mileage to the district, me walking away from my desk and interrupting my workflow, I was able to spend 15 minutes with this teacher, do the exact same thing I would do had I been sitting next to her, save the district $$ and protect my own productivity.  This tool has more value than I even realized!  Now, please do not read this as “Brooke is lazy” or “Brooke won’t drive to my school now”…no, no, no! That is NOT the case at all.  Google Hangouts actually gives me MORE freedom to do MORE and BE MORE available to all the schools in our district.  It allows our time together to be more authentic and focused but it also provides me with a lot more flexibility to help you do whatever it is that you need!  Please know that I am ALWAYS available to get in the car and drive to your school, I just might be able to get to you a lot faster via Hangouts. 🙂

Since I’ve done this livestream, I’ve had numerous hangouts exactly like the one described.  We also trained the #HCSinnovate teacher fellows on Hangouts and their collaboration has been off the charts!  Read more about their hangout collaboration here!

Let me save you some time, the crucial details are in the first 5 minutes.  There is lots of rambling.  I never said this was the best tutorial I’ve ever done. HA!

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