Several years ago I participated in my first Skype conversation, it was with my brother in-law and his family who, at that time, lived in France. My memories of it are awkward and painful, I was not use to this typpe of conversation. We had several more Skype conversations over the next couple years, each of which were a little better then the previous, but still not great.
Things changed when we purchased my son an Ipod and he began to Facetime his friends and us. I thought if he can do this the I can as well. So I began to participate in web conferences whenever possible to become more comfortable with the medium. Then the craziest thing happened this year, I started to have students Skype into class when they were home sick or at their home school (it is a daily event now). This led me to try live streaming my class one week when I knew there would be a large number of kids missing do to transportation issues with their home school. We tried Google Hangout Live-stream and although it did not work that day it gave me chance to get familiar with it. So a week later when we had to have a MAET small team web conference I suggested using Google Hangout (not the Livestream but the regular version). My partners were happy to give it a try, as it was new to them too.
I found it easy to use and it had many features including screen share, allowing us to enhance our conversation and share different websites with one another. With the exception of broadcasting myself eating a hamburger as I waited for my teammates to answer the invite (luckily I finished wiping the ketchup off my face just before they answered) the conference went very well.
We used Camtasia to record the conference and then uploaded the video to www.screencast.com to share with one another. The Live-stream function would have done the same but we struggled with getting that to work.
In the end , we decided to create a stand alone professional development using Educreation about how a teacher could use Educreation to enhance their own teaching. We look forward to sharing our final product with you in a few weeks.
Watch below to see how we used Google Hangout