Literacy ShopTalk

"Prepare self-directed learners to think critically about the messages received and created by media.”

Google Hangouts- Exploding Communication in the Media Classroom

Written By: Paula Neidlinger - Mar• 01•17

Google Hangouts- Exploding Communication in the Media Classroom

One of the greatest benefits of 21st century technology infused classrooms, is the integration of authentic audiences.  

Yes, Google Hangouts, is a key ingredient to exploding our potential for Global communication with classrooms around the world.  Developing a progressively technology-rich curriculum, requires a growth-mindset and the vision for global collaboration utilizing technologies in the classroom.

Google Hangouts empower students to innovatively craft their own digital learning experiences through independent and collaborative discovery and creation with students from around the globe.  The more exposure through the windows of the real-world that we can provide to our students, the better the communication experience.

Through the aide of social media last year, I met Bruce Reicher, @breicher, a media teacher from @CavalliniSchool in Upper Saddle River, NJ.  Bruce and I have established our programs as Mass Media Sister Schools.  During the last two years we have exchanged student produced feature ideas, lesson plans, and hosted several Google Hangouts between our classes. Additionally, @Stormradio, part of our @LJHDigitalstorm program, hosted a live call-in show in which Cavallini students called into our talk show during a Google Hangout, which enabled them to speak, listen, and view the entire program.  Finally, each school produced a mini segment to appear on each other’s daily announcement program.

(clip of Google Hangout)

I’ve written many times on the power of global communication. Utilizing social media to grasp on to these crucial web ties around the globe is imperative in providing real-world communication experiences for our students.  This cannot be a “one and done” operation.  Bruce Reicher and I continue to build our two programs by providing our students the opportunity to collaborate together via Google Hangouts, radio, and television production.

Additionally, I’ve connected with Randall Tomes and his mass media program at Crestview Elementary in Indianapolis, In. Please check out his CV-TV program- CLICK HERE.  Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet Randy Tomes and visit his school studio first-hand in Indianapolis.  We have begun exchanging ideas and planning our first student-led Google Hangout within the next month.

On Monday, March 6, I will once again, have the opportunity to meet yet another virtual colleague, Bruce Reicher and his students for the first time, as I will be traveling to Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, NJ, via the IBS Conference and Awards in NYC over the weekend.

Check back next week, as I will have pictures and footage from CTV meets Storm TV at Cavallini Middle School.


THREE EASY STEPS- If you haven’t set up your own Hangout yet- today is the day!!  

How do you set up a Google Hangout meeting?
3 easy steps to schedule a Google Hangout
  1. First, go to your Google+ page and click on the “Events” icon in the left-hand sidebar.
  2. Second, create the Event. At the top right-hand corner, click on the “Create Event” button
  3. Third, invite other classrooms to your event


There are numerous sites with ideas on how to incorporate Google Hangouts into your classroom or school.  If you’re struggling with the concept and wondering if it’s really useful, check out some of these links for ideas and lessons.

  • TeachThought – “50 Ideas For Using Google Hangouts”
  • We Are Teachers-  “7 Ways To Use Google Hangouts In the Classroom”
  • The Journal– “6 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts”
  • Edutopia– “How educators and schools can make the most of Google Hangouts.

Connect today!!  Infuse your classroom with global communication tools.  Share your ideas for Google Hangouts below.  All classrooms can benefit from shared experiences.

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