Google+ Hangouts is a free video-voice chat service from Google that enables both one-on-one chats and group chats with up to ten people at a time. 

Google Hangouts can be accessed via laptop and desktop computers as well as with Android mobile devices (Android "Gingerbread" v2.3 and later) and, in the near future, iOS-powered mobile devices.  In addition to video chatting, Google Hangouts users can share documents, scratchpads, images and YouTube videos with other users.

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How to Join a Hangout in Three Easy Steps

*Visual learner? Watch a video about how to Hangout

(Don’t forget to download the plugin)

1. Get a Google account. 
You need to have a free Google+ account in order to participate in a Hangout. Visit this page to sign up: You can also link your existing Gmail account to Google+. If your institution uses Gmail, note that most Business Gmail accounts do not have Google Plus enabled, so you may need to sign up separately.

2. Set up your computer.
You’ll need a computer or laptop with an internet connection, webcam, and microphone to Hangout. Don’t have a webcam or microphone? That’s OK—you can still participate by chatting and listening!
IMPORTANT: Download the free Google Hangout plugin a few days before the Hangout so that your computer is ready to go. Visit this page and follow the instructions:

3. Join the Hangout!
Your small group facilitator will set the date and time and will invite you to the first Hangout. At the set time, just login to Google Plus, click “Hangouts” on the left-side menu, and join in when you’re invited. (Note that the Hangout screen opens in a new window, not a new tab.)

Here are a few tips for your first Hangout:

Add the people in your group on Google Circles so that Google knows you know each other (See:

Have your email open so that you can help each other get logged in.

Have the facilitator email the exact name of the Hangout to the group. Then, search for that title in the Google Hangouts page. The Hangout and your invite should appear.

When you enter the Hangout, check to make sure you’re not muted. If you are on mute, you will see a red microphone button on the top right corner; click it to unmute.

Need more help? If you need more detailed instructions, head over to the Google Help Page for a step-by-step how-to, with screen captures and videos:    

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