You may have noticed the chat/hangouts option while logged into Gmail.  It's the object in the lower left corner of the window.  Hangouts, is Google's instant messaging platform.  By having a gmail account, you are automatically provided access to Hangouts.  Hangouts is a very powerful tool, for relaying information to other users.  There are some important guidelines for using Hangouts, that must be kept.   Please avoid using hangouts with users outside of the district system.  This includes the personal accounts of district personnel.  By chatting with people outside of district, you may inadvertantly violate privacy rights or policies.  Chats are logged by Google, and are queryable.  Student information should not be relayed via Hangouts. 

With all that being said, Hangouts have several useful features

  • Hangouts can be between two individuals, or entire groups up to a hundred people at once
  • Images can be sent via Hangouts
  • It is Cross-platform compliant, as it runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Chromebooks
  • If your device has a camera/microphone, it supports video and voice chats with up to ten people
  • During video Hangouts, it's possible to open a Google Drive document and group edit/create.

If you're planning on using Hangouts, please use courtesy for other users.  Avoid gossip, or extensive chatter, as it can get distracting.  Should your department desire to create a single hangout for your department, let the ITC helpdesk know, we can walk you through it.