Week6/Activity 22: Hangouts and other Live sessions


I propose our friend the live video chat as a technology to sit alongside other staples of blogs, RSS, Twitter, Social Networks, links/embeds and VLEs.

By live video chat I mean tools such as Hangouts (+ hangouts on air), Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect etc. In generic terms these are “Synchronous Audio Graphic” tools and they have the advantages of:

  • bringing people together for a live conversation
  • give you the chance to ask real time questions
  • strengthen social connections and enhance a sense of community
  • beef up the presence for the instructors on the course (see ETCMOOC blog “many comments related to a desire to hear more from the MOOC teacher”)

The ‘live’ part is both the advantage and the curse.  Not everyone will be able to make a point in time, so an ability to make a recording is an advantage.  I didn’t make the PLN chat for this course, but I can watch the recording when I am free.  Recordings of calls make it easy to capture course material (eg Weller/Siemens/Cormier).

The examples above are for sessions involving tutors and students, but these technologies also make it possible to have student initiated small group chats – which we have enjoyed already as a tutor group on H817.

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5 Responses to Week6/Activity 22: Hangouts and other Live sessions

  1. Hi Nuala,

    I was also going to choose synchronous audio graphic tools as an additional technology to be considered for open education but will select another instead since you’ve already covered it.

    I agree with your points. This kind of tool can contribute to the building of a sense of community and strengthening interpersonal relationships. In can also be of value in view of intercultural relationships as asynchronous text-based communication can sometimes be ambiguous and be falsely interpreted within such a diverse community. Emoticons can help to support the tone of the writing and clarify what is meant, but not everyone likes to use them.

    As you say due to the affordances of the tool, it’s about the moment. It’s immediate and you can throw around ideas for further development later or really have a good discussion, depending on how prepared participants have come to the session. It’s also a good means of helping others to catch up with work and to clarify any difficulties. I enjoy using this means of communication and look forward to having some more sessions together.


  2. NualaD says:

    Thanks for stopping by Trish, great minds think alike!

  3. Paige Cuffe says:

    Fond of these too, Nuala. I’ve found that even watching the hangout (when there have been more than the 9) and then participating in live twitter chat as it unfolds has given me a deep sense of connection with fellow participants. I’ve also felt it strengthens the relationship between participants and facilitators/instructors as it helps to see them as people.
    Of the ‘synchronous audio graphic’ tools you’ve tried so far, which have you preferred and why? (I’ve been wondering about the pros and cons of Google hangouts vs Elluminate/Collaborate as they are very different creatures.)

    • NualaD says:

      Hi Paige, it depends! If we were having an informal chat for our H817 tutor group I’d go with the hangout. Hardly any setup, easy to use, good audio and video quality. If it was a more formal setting I’d use BB Collaborate or Adobe Connect – no-one needs to share their email address with me and as a moderator I have a bit more control of layout and options and can engage people with polls, multiple pods etc. Hangout is a “lets just do it” type of tool for those comfortable with Google eco-system.

  4. Pingback: Activity 22: Open education technology – standard web technology | moltilearn

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