Friday, May 6, 2016

Start a Chat using Hangouts

One of the most useful tools available within Google Apps for Education is Hangouts. Using Hangouts allows you to have text and video conversations with other Google users around the world. These conversations are not limited to one on one; you can also have text and video conversations with groups of people. Using Hangouts is a great way to increase communication and collaboration among colleagues.

Because Hangouts is a very flexible tool, it can also be a bit confusing. There are MANY ways to start and join a conversation and each way can vary depending upon what device you are using. For this tutorial, we will look specifically at how to access and start a Hangout text conversation using Google Chrome. You could be using Chrome on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook and this tutorial will apply.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to
  3. Click the "Message" button
  4. Search for people to invite to a conversation by email or by name. Note: if the person has never used Hangouts OR you have never chatted with them before, you may need to specifically search for them by email
  5. Click the checkbox next to a person to invite them to a conversation
  6. Click the "Message" button to open a conversation
  7. Depending on how the person's account is configured, they MAY need to formally accept your invitation before they see any of your messages. If that's the case, Click "Send Invite". You will not be able to send them messages until they accept your invitation
  8. To send the person a message, type the message at the bottom of the window and press ENTER on the keyboard. You can use the small buttons at the bottom of the window to add emoji and images
  9. The person's replies and a chronological history of the conversation will appear in the window. You can invite additional people into the conversation by clicking the small "Create a Group Hangout" button at the top of the window
  10. To exit the Hangout conversation, just close the Hangout window by clicking the "X" in the upper right corner of the window

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