Here are some ways I plan to use Google Hangouts:
- Nancy mentioned some collaborative writing activities in her post and I really like this approach. One app worth mentioning for the pre-writing stages is Scoot & Doodle. Students can use this tool to draw their own webs, characters, or illustrations for stories or poems. Another variation would be to have classes draw Rebus Puzzles and solve each other's puzzles.
- Another excellent app for visual learners is Cacoo. This would work well for illustrating an array of concepts because it provides several templates for mind maps and flowcharts. These would work well for collaborative research projects.
- Google Docs is also integrated into the Hangouts, which would make it easier for smaller groups of students to take notes or collect information during a Hangout. I am wondering though if it would be possible and perhaps easier to have a couple students take notes live on other computers on that shared Google Doc in real-time so those in front of the hot seat (or webcam) are talking instead of typing.
- I plan to continue our Novel Study Units and hope to utilize Google+ Hangouts to talk with all our participating classes at the same time and play Vocabulary and Character Trait Games. We also plan on incorporating Readers' Theater using Google Effects. This should be fun!
- I also stumbled on A Story Before Bed. Although I did not get a chance to fully explore book title options, it looks like great app to use with younger learners, especially those who are learning English or to read. Wouldn't it be great for my students to start a virtual Buddy Reading Program with a younger class? We'll see what the future holds for this app.
One awesome app that @amusone and I played with was Panoramio. With this app, the person who starts the game selects from a group of pictures. A timer then starts while other players pin point the exact location of the picture on a Google Map. Once the timer stops, each player gets an estimate of how far their guess was to the actual location in kilometers. This game is a great way to expose students to different landmarks and use conversion in measurement of distances. After each turn, there is a new game master (and this is indicated by a top hat or some kind of effect), and that game master gets a red pin that indicates the exact location, which means they can give real-time clues to the players if he/she chooses to. I think this game would be a great introduction and/or variation to Mystery Calls.
Finally, my favorite feature is the fact that I can record our Google+ Hangouts! This recording is very easy to do and automatically uploads and streams on your YouTube Channel. It is important to note that the person starting the hangout must enable live recording by going to the YouTube App once others join.
So here are my plans for this nifty tool. What ways have/would you integrate them in your gifted curriculum or class? Please feel free to leave a comment or let me know if you would like to join us in this journey!