Breaking Down Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime

Google + Hangouts

By: Google

Need: You need a G+ account to use it.

What: Brings one-on-one and group conversations to life with text, photos, emoji, and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices.

Abilities: text-based chat, video chat, receive phone calls, accessible on any device/computer and, screen share, remote desktop connect, connect to Google Drive, live broadcast stream your video chats with Hangouts On Air and much more!

Devices: PC, Mac, Chromebook, iOS (iPod/iPad/iPhone), Android 

Limitations: up to 10 people simultaneously in a video hangout, need G+ account and 13+

Resources: Hangout Features, Connected Classrooms, Google Hangouts in Education

Price: Free

Getting Started



Classroom Integration:

 

  • Video broadcasting projects, collaborate with classes in your school, district, state, world learning about different cultures, virtual pen pals, video debates, learning about careers, really anything.
  • Take your students on virtual field trips anywhere at anytime.
  • Homebound students can participate with their class.
  • For 1:1 schools, use as a virtual meeting for students and/or parents.
  • Set up Hangouts on Air for after school tutoring.
  • Set up Hangout on Air for a virtual Parent Teacher Conference.
  • Differentiate a discussion with a hangout to get students more engaged in a subject.
  • Use it as a method for classroom management or positive reinforcement.
  • Differentiate how you meet as a teaching team/department/PLN.
  • Summer meetings, or virtual PD
  • Stream school events (graduation, sports, concerts, spelling bee, etc)
  • So much you can do!

 

 






Skype

By: Microsoft website

Need: Skype account to use it can sign up with your Facebook, Twitter, Windows accounts.

What:an application used on most devices to make free voice or video calls or chat via the internet.  

Abilities: voice calling, video chat, text-based messaging, file sharing.

Devices: PC, Mac, Chromebook, iOS (iPod/iPad/iPhone), Android,  TV, others

Limitations: If you are using it on a computer you’ll need to download the software to use it, limit to 10 people, doesn’t work on a Chrome OS device, some features are not free, doesn’t tie into a social media network.

Resources: Skype in the ClassroomSkype Essentials, Skype Features, Mystery Skype

Price: Mostly free, some features are paid.

Getting Started



Classroom Integration:

  • Try Mystery Skype as a global cultural guessing game.
  • Introduce the classroom to world-class experts.
  • Using Skype in the classroom, you can find an author to Skype with.
  • Homebound students can participate with their class.
  • Video broadcasting projects, collaborate with classes in your school, district, state, world learning about different cultures, virtual pen pals, video debates, learning about careers, really anything.
  • Take your students on virtual field trips anywhere at anytime.
  • Differentiate a discussion with a Skype to get students more engaged in a subject.
  • Use it as a method for classroom management or positive reinforcement.
  • Summer meetings, or virtual PD.
  • Much more!




FaceTime

By: Apple

Need: Apple ID

What: using an iOS device or Mac computer, you can do 1:1 video of voice calls.

Abilities: video or voice chat. 

Devices: Apple computers, iOS Devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad)

Limitations: Limited to 1:1 video calls, no text based chatting, no social media connection, may not work with older devices, and only is available on iOS. 

Resources: FaceTime on Device, FaceTime on Mac



Classroom Integration:

  • Set up video pen-pal class, for a 1:1 ipad school, locally, or globally.
  • FaceTime parents, staff, or students for meetings.
  • Home-bound students can participate with their class.
  • Take your students on virtual field trips.
  • Model skills to individual students.
  • Document events to a classroom, student, or parent.
  • Differentiate a discussion with a hangout to get students more engaged in a subject.
  • Use it as a method for classroom management or positive reinforcement.
  • Much more!

Summing this up!



Using any of these 3 services is a step in the right direction (when needed). This post was not about telling you what’s the best video chatting service but to break down the need to know information. The applications allow for meaningful, creative, and differentiated ways of communication and collaboration not only with your students but with staff, parents, and community. I can continue writing classroom integration lists for a very long time, however it’s not about fitting this tool into your class. As educators we need to decide what lesson, activity, or event needs enhancement to produce great student learning and using Hangout/Skype/FaceTime is meaningful to your curriculum.

 

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