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Google Hangouts On Air- Thinglink Style

One of the assignments during the Google Apps for Education course was to become familiar with Google Hangouts on Air. I did this by first researching the tool Thinglink, created a screencast on how to use the tool and then shared this with my classmates. You can see this video below. Next, I posed questions for my classmates to ponder as they watched the video and posted these to a shared Google Doc. For the vital step to this process, I set up and recorded a Google Hangout on Air in which my classmates and I discussed the tool in further detail. Lastly, I posted the video to YouTube and made it public for the world to view!

In regards to the support needed to successfully use GHOA, the teacher would need to teach students how to use GHOA in class, provide guided instruction, allow time for students to test this out on their own, and then provide time for questions in class. Several students in my GAFE class, including myself, had various issues arise while trying to use GHOA. However, due to these issues, I now might be able to help troubleshoot some of these problems. Regardless of your knowledge of GHOA, I would strongly suggest having your technology director teach a lesson to the class on how to use this tool.

By using GHOA, it makes the presenter and those involved in the hangout be “expert teachers” and “expert learners”. As the presenter, I felt a need to be extra prepared for the GHOA since I knew that it was being recorded. As a participant, I spent extra time reviewing the discussion questions and tinkering around with the application prior to the GHOA, again since I knew it was being recorded. I can see this as a benefit for student engagement, for whenever they know that they are being recorded, they normally put forth their best effort.

One way the I see myself using GHOA in my classroom is by having students pair up and record conversations with one another based on a specific topic, such as ordering food in a restaurant, asking for directions, or even just having a casual conversation. Students can be paired up with different students so they get the opportunity to work with varying skill levels and meet new classmates. By participating in an HOA, I believe that students would better prepare themselves for the dialogue and this would also give me an opportunity as a teacher to review their dialogues and give more guided, constructive feedback. In addition, by storing all of these files in one location, students can look back on their progress and see how much they’ve grown with the language over the course of one specific class or their foreign language career.

Depending on the topic presented by the teacher, using this tool could help a World Language teacher reach any and all of the “Interpersonal Communication” standards according to the MA Common Core. For example, students can show mastery of 1.11 by discussing a class reading; 1.13 by providing solutions to a problem; 1.19 by discussing national, international or current events; or 1.22 by convincing and persuading another person to adopt a plan or viewpoint. Using GHOA could also address more complex MA Common Core Standards such as Culture 4.14, in which students “identify interactions, patterns of social behavior, social norms, customs, holidays, and special events that are typical of the target culture, and discuss how they reflect language and cultural perspectives”. The possibilities are endless when using GHOA to have students record a prompted or casual conversation. I’m looking forward to implementing this in my classroom in a way so students can track their progress over the years!

Massachusetts Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework

Link to screencast:


Link to HOA:

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