Tech tip: Hanging out at APA and on air via Google+

Div. 49 (Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy) wanted to make some programming at convention accessible to those who were unable to attend.

Lee Gillis, PhD, president-elect and Leann Terry Diederich, PhD, member-at-large, both of Div. 49 (Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy), wanted to make two events, “Hot Topics in Group Research” and “Best Practices for Teaching Group Theory or Practice,” available to members who were not able to attend the convention. These were programs conducted in the Division Suite and a handful of convention goers were in attendance. Through Hangouts On Air (HOA) through Google+ they recorded 54 minutes of unedited video for each HOA. There were a number of positive responses from members of the society who were unable to attend the convention, yet who felt part of what was happening in Hawai’i.

Gillis said, “Our initial foray with HOAs was not without hiccups even though we experimented ahead of time.” There were several lessons learned:

  • Scheduling the event is not the same as “going live” when the HOA starts.
  • They had to “start a HOA” prior to going live.
  • Having up to nine people who have shown interest in the HOA “follow” your group on Google+ allows you to “invite” them to join the HOA 5-10 minutes prior to “going live”. This last step allows for anyone in the Hangout to interact with the presenters in the suite.

“Google+ HOAs have potential for sharing information with Society members throughout the year,” Diederich reported. “We are already planning a more traditional HOA (e.g., where attendees are at multiple locations across the country) soon to discuss a specific group research statistical technique.”

If you are interested in learning more, contact Div. 49 or visit Div. 49's Google+ page.