Recently I have been investigating possible ways in which Google Hangouts or Facetime can be used to enrich my Theatre classes. The article 6 Ways Teachers Can Use Google Hangouts, written by Bridget McCrea for The Journal, provided a lot of inspiration. I particularly liked the use of the record function for Google Hangouts so that a conversation could be watched later. Assessed group discussions are a valuable assessment strategy that I have used in English classes a lot but never really thought to use in Theatre. While it is valuable for different groups to listen to the conversations other groups have, it can slow down the creative process a lot. With Google Hangouts all groups can get together and be assessed simultaneously thus limiting the amount of class time the activity takes. The teacher can then simply replay the conversation in their own time and assess.
The other great use is for scheduling expert guest speakers to talk with the class. This saves on all the costs that are often associated with bringing in professionals to speak.
With regards to day-to-day use in my class, I am most excited about using this as a means of keeping tabs on my students as they work in different areas of the school. There are often times where i have to send my class to the Theatre, the costume room, the Theatre art workshop or an additional rehearsal space to complete tasks. Often this involves a lot of ‘toing and froing’ of students coming to get extra advice from me or approval from other group members. I am going to try and encourage students to simply Facetime me or their group if they have practical questions. I can also use Google Hangouts to schedule compulsory check in sessions to make sure progress is being made throughout the lesson.
If you are keen to try and use this yourself, 32 Tips For Using Google Hangouts in the Classroom from the TeachThought blog is a worthwhile list to help you make the experience successful.