Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Running a Google Hangouts Session

If you need to talk to a load of people at once, Google Hangouts can be a useful platform to use. I use it when having short webinars with groups of students, as up to a dozen people can all hear and see each other, almost regardless of the quality of our internet.

There can be a few hiccups with setting up the video call initially, but going to Google Support (n.d.) here will generally get us up and running with a minimum of fuss.

To actually start a call, we simply need to go to hangouts.google.com, and click "Video Call". I usually just click "Copy link to Share", and email that link to my participants, just as we are about to start the session.

However, all participants need to be using Google Chrome:

  • If participants' default web browser is Google Chrome, then they need only to click the link to connect to the session, and allow Hangouts to access their camera and microphone. 
  • If Chrome is not a participant's default browser, they can simply open Chrome and paste the link into the address bar, again allowing Hangouts to access their camera and microphone. 

Its not perfect, but it is free, works well, and doesn't have the limitation of Zoom, where each call ends at 45 minutes. With Hangouts you can talk for as long as you want to.

Give it a try :-)


Sam

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