Reflective Communication with Google Hangouts on Air +

Bryn Bonino
4 min readJan 8, 2019

In the years that I worked as a World Languages teacher and teacher trainer, one of the most common challenges was getting any level of student speaking in a non-prompted way and in a fashion where the teacher would be able to evaluate that speaking.

Then I went to the 2015 ACTFL conference and heard how Dr. Kelly Arispe with Boise State University harnesses the free technology of Google Hangouts on Air and to accelerate language proficiency for her students. But this pairing of technology isn’t only applicable in a language classroom. It’s a great idea for any educational situation!

Below I describe how to set up the technology. Whatever the students discuss and analyze, and how that is graded can be adjusted according to the assignment and subject. The genius idea behind this is that people actually learn very little when someone else corrects them. The learning happens when students self-correct and learn from their own mistakes. The pairing of Google Hangouts on Air and allows for this self discovery to happen. And all the instructor needs to do it evaluate the reflection process.

The materials necessary for this activity are…

  • A computer or personal device
  • A Google+ account (you and your partner must follow each other)
  • A Youtube account
  • A account (which integrates with Google Drive)

To get started…

First find a partner who you can discuss your lesson with, and exchange phone numbers with that person. This will come in handy in the case that there are any technical difficulties or complications. Also make sure that you follow each other on Google+.

For the technology to work…

At least one person will need to be on a computer, the other person can be on a tablet or smartphone. If only one person will be on a computer, that person needs to start the Hangout on Air. If both of you will be on a computer, decide ahead of time who will start the Hangout on Air.

If you are on a tablet or phone, you will first need to install the app, and sign in…

Bryn Bonino

Educator, marketer, and photographer. Learn more at