How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching

Google+ is the latest social media platform which has caught the imagination of professionals in all walks of life. Fortunately for educators, many features such as Circles, Sparks, and Hangouts are of immense value – especially for an educator teaching at institutions located in different places, who not only loses time in traveling from one location to other, but feels the extra strain involved in alternately traveling and teaching. With Hangouts, teachers are able to conduct more virtual classrooms at a greater number of places. This will reduce costs and put institutions in a position to reward teachers in better ways.

Here are some suggestions for using Google+ Hangouts to improve your teaching experience.


  1. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 1
    Before getting started, ensure that:
    • You have computers with the latest configurations.
    • You have a high speed internet connections at each node.
    • Your internet connection works even without power supply.
    • You have an alternate source of power to ensure continuous transmission even during power outages.
    • All your systems are connected to an inverter, so that the transmission is not lost during the switch-over form one power source to another.
  2. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 2
    Create Google+ accounts at the transmission and reception levels. These are the places from where the teacher is teaching (transmission) and where the students are located (reception). The first prerequisite for creating a Google+ account is having a Gmail account. Log into your Gmail account.On the left side of your Dashboard bar(The strip at the top)you will have an icon "+you" by clicking the icon you can create a Google+ account.
    • Create Gmail accounts for all the nodes (transmission and reception). The Google+ accounts operate through Gmail accounts.
  3. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 3
    Network the Google+ nodes once the accounts are created. It is necessary to connect the various nodes with each other by sending and accepting contact requests.
  4. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 4
    Create relevant circles. The transmission node should create subject-wise circles and include the relevant reception nodes in the circle. Similarly, the reception nodes should also create each subject circle and include the relevant transmission node in the circle. The process is very easy – just drag and drop the relevant nodes in the circle.
    • You can create an unlimited number of circles but be sure you can manage the number you do create.
    • Have a clear and specific classification for the circles and ensure that all the nodes follow the same classification. This will avoid confusion between nodes.
  5. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 5
    Integrate your Youtube, Picasa accounts with your Google+ account. This way you can transmit videos & Photos.You can also transmit Power Point presentations,or any file from your screen by clicking the option "share your screen"
  6. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 6
    Conduct dry runs. Test the system and the network at each node. View the audio and video quality and clarity. Make any necessary adjustments to perfect the connections.
  7. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 7
    Run a few trial sessions. Conduct a few trial sessions on topics of general interest to enable the students and teachers to get acclimatized to the system.
    • The transmission node should select the relevant circle before starting the hangout.
    • All the nodes should log in to their Google+ accounts at least fifteen minutes before the schedule of the virtual class. The relevant reception nodes will automatically receive the transmission once they are logged in.
    • The transmission node should ensure that all the reception nodes are logged in before requesting the teacher to start teaching.
  8. Image titled Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching Step 8
    Start conducting virtual classrooms with Google Hangouts. And when you succeed, share the methodology and success stories with other teachers, to encourage more educators to make use of this easy and enjoyable method of information sharing and learning. If convenient, you might even like to write a few "How to" articles on virtual teaching to help others learn more from your own experiences.


  • Sparks is another very useful Google+ tool of research for teachers. Through it, teachers can access the latest information in their domain by just selecting and saving the subjects in the Sparks. Sparks will automatically search and store the latest information on those subjects and teachers can refer to Sparks for any new information on their subjects.
  • The speaker's image will always be enlarged so that there is no confusion as to who is speaking.
  • This can be used with up to 10 classrooms. If needed, some of these 10 classrooms can also relay the hangout to 10 more classrooms.


  • Ensure that the network is a closed loop, so that no unwanted or irrelevant node gets in.

Things You'll Need

  • Computers with latest configuration for best results
  • High speed internet connection
  • Reliable audio systems
  • LCD projectors
  • Classrooms, seminar halls or other suitable locations for sitting, viewing and for teaching from
  • Computer savvy teachers and students; if the teacher is unsure, get a helper
  • FM mikes

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