Video Conference with parents, teachers, and students using Hangouts


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Search and find a teacher or student
  • Invite at least one teacher or student to a Hangout
  • Share a video inside a Hangout
  • Share a document inside a Hangout
  • [Optional] Turn on new Gmail Hangouts

A Hangout is a live, video call or phone call through your computer, phone, or mobile device. You can share documents, videos, or pictures inside these video calls. Let’s look at three examples of how teachers use Hangouts to talk with parents, students, and other teachers.


The following scenarios are examples of how educators use Google Hangouts in their classrooms.

Discuss student performance with parents

Ms. Navara teaches life and earth science to 180 students across six different classes. She has the largest number of students of any teacher at her school. As a result she spends more time assessing student work, giving feedback, and meeting with parents. Meeting with parents is especially hard because her students are bussed to the school from all across the large city.

This is the first year Ms. Navara is using Google Hangouts to have virtual meetings with parents. She saves time because previously, many parents could not travel to the school, so she visited them at home, which required extra travel time from one student house to the next. Now she can schedule meetings one after another. She can also meet parents from her home as long as she has a device and Internet connection. Because she uses Hangouts, she can have the same personal and candid meetings with parents.

Collaborate with teachers across campuses

Mr. Boldendorf teaches first-year primary students in a private school. Last year, his school opened two more locations in different parts of his district. The head of the three private schools has asked that the curriculum be the same for all first-year students at all three schools. So Mr. Boldendorf has to meet with the other two first-year teachers at the new school along with the two other first-year teachers at his location. Mr. Boldendorf suggests they use Google Hangouts to meet virtually and plan lessons. Everyone likes the idea because they save travel time. Moreover, everyone is pleased to know that they can share and work on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations inside the Hangout.

Hold office hours with students

Mr. Mutiso teaches 200 students in their final year of primary school. The students often still struggle with remembering details or writing down details of assignments. As a result, they frequently have questions about assignments and projects. Mr. Mutiso gives his mobile number to his students to call if there are questions but he is often inundated with too many questions each evening.

First, Mr. Mutiso starts the rule, “Call three before me,” so that each student must call and ask three other students the same question before calling the teacher. However, sometimes because no one knows, they still call Mr. Mutiso. His school decides to add additional computers and tablets to the school and increase the bandwidth and strength of the Internet signal. Now each day, Mr. Matiso holds a special, online “office hours” in the afternoon where children can dial into a video-call and ask questions. With the office hours, students call each other less and Mr. Mutiso has reduced his phones calls by 85%.

Teach evening language classes with role-playing

Mrs. Lai teaches Year 7 and 8 language classes in Chinese and French. Even though she knows that the most important part of learning a language is to practice speaking and listening, her students do very little speaking and listening since she only sees them for 5 hours a week in class. Even her top-scoring students still struggle to speak Chinese or French conversationally. She decides to hold language labs and language classes in the evening to give extra speaking and listening practice at night. Using Google Hangouts and other volunteer Chinese and French teachers, she has been able to give students more aural practice time using role-playing situations. Students pretend to order food in restaurants, request books from the library, and register to vote. After 2 months of doing this, she notices that student confidence in class has increased, and half of her students still make mistakes but can speak continuously at an intermediate, conversational level.


Enable new Hangouts in Gmail

To enable Hangouts:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click your profile photo at the top of your chat list.
  3. Click Try the new Hangouts. You will be able to use the new Hangouts after Gmail refreshes.

Invite a teacher or student to a Hangout

To start a Hangout:

  1. Open Hangouts in Gmail or Google+.
    • Gmail: Click the Hangouts icon  in the bottom left-hand corner of the Gmail window.
    • Google+: Click the Hangouts icon  in the top right-hand corner of the Google+ window.
  2. Select a person from the Hangouts list. Or click the Search button and type a name or email address. When you find the person you want, click their name.
    If you want to start a group video call, tick the boxes in front of people's names and click the Video icon to start a video call. Keep in mind, group video calls only work if you have a Google+ account.
  3. Click the video icon .

Video calls are available in full-screen view. To view the toolbar for options, like muting sound and turning off the video feed during the video call, move your mouse near the top centre of the screen. To view apps, like sharing your desktop during the video call, move your mouse to the left-hand side of the screen.

Share a video inside a Hangout

To watch YouTube videos with others in a video call:

  1. Open the YouTube app. Everyone in the video call will also have to add the app.
  2. Click Add videos to playlist to find videos. To find videos you can either search for a specific video or copy and paste the URL of a specific YouTube video.
    Google recommends videos to you based on the playlist you currently have. They appear below the shared playlist in a separate section. You can add them to your playlist by clicking the green “+” button.
  3. Once you have found a video, click the green “+” button(s) to add one or more search results to the shared playlist. Once added to the playlist, the button(s) will turn red. Click the red button to remove the corresponding video from the shared playlist.

Share a document inside a Hangout

To open the app, hover over the left-hand side of the video call window. You'll see a bar with various app icons appear. Click on the Google Drive button on the left-hand side of your screen. If it's not visible, click on "...", Add apps, and then find and select Google Drive. From there you can click on Create shared notes at the top of the window that appears.

No one else in the video call will be able to see the doc until they've also selected Google Drive from the app bar, then clicked on Hangouts notes.

Classroom connections

You and your students can use the information you have learned in this lesson in the following ways:


  • Help students who need more support - Once a week in the evenings you can meet with students who need extra help. Help students one-on-one after school through screen sharing, chat options, shared Google Docs and other features built into the Hangout.
  • Teach online - For classes that are taught mostly online, Hangouts can be a real game changer, making it easier for students to connect with you on a more personal level and bringing a human element to what can sometimes be an alienating experience.
  • Communicate and collaborate - Hangouts can make a big difference for classrooms by connecting students to you when they are outside of the classroom, and it can make regular communication and collaboration much easier for you.
  • Broadcast and archive live lessons - Set up a Hangout, develop a presentation, and then broadcast your teaching live.
  • Develop rich online portfolios - Because they allow users to save and archive their online interactions, Hangouts also serves as a viable online portfolio tool for teachers and students. A teacher can create a channel and then develop a repository of videos, work, and presentations that’s accessible to others.


  • Work collaboratively on projects through Hangouts.
  • Connect with experts from all over the world. For example, scientists can speak to a wide audience of students about a relevant topic or event, or just to share their experiences as scientists.
  • Connect with friends through Hangouts to study and discuss classwork.
  • Share your work with experts to receive feedback and input.
  • Take a class from a teacher/tutor without having to be in the same place; invite up to 9 classes/individuals to learn from one expert or for group study.
  • Attend class when you are sick or travelling.

Learn more


Part A. Start a Hangout and invite at least one person.

Create a hangout and invite a friend or colleague.

Part B. Practice sharing in Hangouts.

Find a fellow teacher or a friend to practice sharing items in Hangouts. Invite your friend or fellow teacher to a Hangout. Practice sharing each of the below items.

  • A document from Google Drive
  • A YouTube video
  • [Extra Credit] Your screen

Part C. How will you use Hangouts in your classroom?

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.