Main Page Edited by: Tyler Haney, Reid Hart-Hults, and Amanda Roberts

Ideas Adapted by: Mary Beard, Corryn Brown, Tao Dan, Wang Dandan, Cui Fangfang, Tyler Haney, Reid Hart-Hults, Jordan Nelson, Amanda Roberts, Adrienne Schenkel, and Kelsey Treely

Edited by: Megan Miller, Michael Ernst, and Luke Waitt

Table of Contents

I.      History

II.     Purpose of Google Talk Video

III.    How Does Google Talk Video Work?

IV.   Relation to Other Applications

V.    Unique Ways of Using Google Talk Video

VI.   Applications in the Classroom
            a.) Elementary Lesson Plans
            b.) Secondary Lesson Plans
            c.) Post-Secondary Lesson Plans
            d.) Business Plans

VII.  Illustrations of Educational value

VIII. International Aspects

IX.   References

Developed by:

Google Inc. / Marratech (

Release date:

November 11, 2008 1


VolP/Instant messaging client



I. History

Name of Application

Do you have a webcam and a computer with an internet connection? If so, then try Google Talk Video! Google Talk Video is a free video conferencing software that is part of Google Talk. It is integrated within Gmail, Google's e-mail system.2

Who Developed Google Talk Video?

Serge Lachapelle and other engineers from Sweden helped develop this "video conferencing software" known as Google Talk Video.3

Some More History About Google Talk Video

Lachapelle was the "Vice President of Product Management" at Marratech.  Marratech is the company in Sweden from which Google bought the software in April 2007.

Lachapelle and most of the others who helped develop this software now work for Google. Although Google acquired this software, Marratech still operates on its own and continues to develop software technologies. When Google first gained rights to the video conferencing software in April 2007, it was specifically used within the Google company before it was publically released as an upgrade to Gmail's Google Talk system.  This includes features such as IM and voice chat.4

                                                                                                                 Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Here is the previous format for Google Talk Video when it was licensed under Marratech.5

                                                                             Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

This is the revamped version of Google Talk Video as it now appears:
                                                                         Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

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II. Purpose of Google Talk Video

What is the Purpose of Google Talk Video?

Google talk video has many purposes. It's main intent is to enhance the communication with a variety of people throughout the world. Space is no longer a barrier for communication when you can use Google talk video.

Who is the Main Target Audience?

The main target audience is...EVERYONE!!!  The more people that use the application, the more useful it becomes. It was geared towards making communication easier and that is exactly what it does.  Since there are no barriers regarding language and space, the possiblities are endless.  People all over the world can talk to anyone they want, at any time they want.6

 Retrieved February 22, 2011, from

What Types of Videos Can You Add in When Interacting Using Google Talk Video?

A buddy can paste a URL from a Google video session and send it to their friends as well as any picture. A buddy can also insert a YouTube video in to their video chat while chatting with a buddy. Google Talk Video also supports Flickr slideshows while chatting with a buddy.7

This is a YouTube video that has been inserted in to a video chat.

                                                                                     Retrieved February 22, 2011, from

Why Was Google Talk Video Developed?

Google Talk Video was introduced to be direct competition for other video chat software, such as Skype and TokBox as well as to enhance the existing Google Talk system.8 In addition, Google Talk Video allows "from-the-desktop participation" to users during video conferencing.9

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III. How Does Google Talk Video Work?

Getting started with Google Talk Video is relatively quick and simple!  The information below will help you get started.  

What is the First Thing I Need to Do?

First, you must have a Gmail e-mail account. To create an account, simply go to and choose "create an account."10

                                                                                                                                     Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

From there, simply fill in your information and follow the prompts to set up your account. It's as simple as creating a Gmail account.

Next Steps

Now that you have your Gmail account set up, you need to download Google Talk and the Video Chat plug-ins.  To do this, go to and download both of the plug-ins.  This only takes a few minutes to download and install.11

                                                                                                                            Retrieved April 3, 2009, from                        

Getting Started Using Google Talk Video

You now have all of the necessary software needed to use Google Talk Video. Gmail requires that you send chat invitations to others to be able to chat with them. You must first go into your personal Gmail homepage and under the chat tab, select "Add Contact." 12

                                                                             Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

From there, you can type the person's Gmail address who you wish to be able to chat with.  Finally, click "Send Invites."  If that person accepts your invitation, you will then be able to chat back and forth and hence use Google Talk Video Chat if you both have a webcam.
To determine if someone is available to chat, there will be a green clock beside their name under your chat tab.  If there is a green video camera symbol, they are available to video chat as well. 

                                                                                             Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

The following video by developer Serge Lachapelle shows you how to use Google Talk Video from this point.
Instructional Video
Now you are ready to chat it up!

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IV. Relation to Other Applications

Other Competitors 

Google Talk Video has several competitors, one of which is Skype, which has much of the same features as Google Talk Video.  Instead of being called Video Chat, Skype calls it a "video call."  These video calls are free as are the Google Talk Video Chats.13

                                                                                                  Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Google Talk Video is also similar to TokBox, which has Video Chat as well.  The setup is a bit different, but the function is essentially the same.14

                                                                                                                     Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Finally, Google Talk Video can be used in conjunction with the chat function on Google Talk.  For instance, one can video chat and use regular chat simultaneously.

International Applications (China)

There are many other applications equipped with the function of voice and video chatting in China, such as QQ, Live Messenger (MSN), TOM-Skype, BaiduHi.

We can also use G-talk Video to have a video chat in G-mail in China, though few people use it at the present time. Just download the plug-ins for Voice and Video chat as the shown by the following.15

                                                                                                              Retrieved April 3, 2009, from



QQ is a tool for real-time chat, which was developed by China's Tencent. There are a number of features in QQ. People can use this tool to chat (text, voice, or video), send and receive e-mail, transfer files, write blogs, and play games. It is widely used in China by all kinds of people. As of June 2006, there are 600 million QQ users. One can sign up for a free QQ account by going to

                                                                                                                            Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Compared to Google Talk Video, QQ is quite convenient, because you do not need to re-install plug-ins. The function is integrated in the software itself. Simply click the Toolbar button on the video and wait for the other party to agree so it can be a video chat. Generally speaking, QQ video resolution is relatively low. This also depends on the personal computer-definition camera. Compared to MSN, the picture quality of QQ is not particularly great.  In contrast, QQ has better audio quality. 

Live Messenger (MSN)

MSN is one of the best four personal instant communication tools in China. A large number of groups, specifically office workers, who use it to communicate with others. Someone found that MSN seems to use a similar "Image Smoothing" or "Dynamic Compensation" technology. Whether it is static or dynamic, the video qualities are much better than other video chat softwares. 

                                                                                                                                                 Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

In audio comparison, MSN has made an excellent impression to the masses. In addition to better restoring the true voice, it is fluent instead of being delayed or interrupted. MSN is well-known for its concise interface, users can easily get started. The main reason is that its video and audio chat button has been placed at the location of the eye-catching message window. When you click on the icons,  an invitation can be issued. However, since the premise of talking to anyone is to be aware of his or her e-mail address, the objects to communication are inevitable limited. MSN does not provide many unique features. We cannot capture or preserve the video image; the only option is to set the size of video images. Its very easy to get started. First you would need to go to  After going to this website you have to download msn's software and go from there.


There are also a lot of people in China who are fond of Tom-Skype, an excellent voice communication tool found at Compared with other common chat tools, the number of people who use it is rather limited. It has the basic functions of making a call, chatting (text, voice, or video), and transferring files. The video quality is not very great when compared to the voice quality. As a result, we use it for voice communication more often than for video. 17

                                                                                                                               Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

The second edition of Skype integrated the function of video chat through the plug of Spontania4Skype (a P2P video plug-in). On the whole, it does not have much more advantages over other video chat applications. 18


Just as the name of the application has shown, it is used to say "Hi" to others. Compared with the a forementioned applications, even fewer people use it in their daily lives. It is a small green software with no advertisements. Functions such as chat (text, voice, video) and transferring files are also integrated in. 19

                                                                                                                                    Retrieved April 3, 2009, from

Except for the common functions, BaiduHi has its unique features. Combined with the powerful search function of Baidu (a search engine in China), the one-key search service make both search and communication much easier. To try it out you simply go to

Similarities to Other Applications

As a new video-chat tool that has been in use than six months, G-talk is still unfamiliar to many people all over the world. G-talk Video is very similar to other chat tools that provide video chat function, like the applications we list above.

In What Ways is G-talk Video Unique and Different with Regards to Other Applications?

According to our experience, G-talk Video is different from the other applications in the following aspects:

     (1) User Account: You don't have to register other account to experience this function. A google account will work;

     (2) Install WAY: It supplies us the video chat function through a separate plug-in, rather than the function integrated in the application itself;

     (3) Chat WAY: The function is embeld in G-mail, rather than a separate chat tool.

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V. Unique Ways of Using Google Talk Video

Unique Uses

Google Talk Video has a variety of unique features for which it can be used. It can be pasted into your personalized blog or webpage by inserting a code into the HTML. When you are chatting with friends, you can share videos and photos by simply pasting in URLs for them into your chat. Your Google Talk will also be archived in your Google account, and while chatting you can "go off the record" where nothing you say will be archived.20

Google Talk Video can also be used in a variety of interesting ways and situations. These unique uses allow people to communicate and work together in situations that would not normally be possible, especially when face-to-face communication isn't possible. This can benefit anyone in allowing communication whether it is family members, business partners, friends, or any other forms of relationships between people.  All of these people can use Google Talk Video for communication, such as catching up with family members, saying hello to a friend, holding business meetings and conferences, as well as sharing your opinions on blogs, or debating your opinion. These means of communication would only be able to be accomplished face-to-face without an application like Google Talk Video. This kind of application has made communicating much easier. Along with businesses being able to use this to hold meetings and talk to employees and clients, this can also be incorporated in the classroom by allowing students to work with other people that are not actually in the classroom but from anywhere in the world. Google will also allow students to communicate from their homes to work on projects when they may not be able to meet face to face with other students.

Through this new application with Google, businesses can hold meeting, students can learn, teachers can teach, and old friends can catch up. The power that Google has given to their customers is can save time and money in all aspects of life.

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VI. Applications in the Classroom

Classroom Uses

Google Talk Video can be used in many different aspects of the classroom. This ranges from meeting with international partners throughout the world to simply viewing an experiment that is taking place outside of your viewing area. The possibilities are limitless. It is up to you to determine where you will go with it.

Lesson Plans

Below are a variety of different lesson plans for all ages. Please click the links below to download the example lesson plans.

A. Elementary 

Retrieved April 5, 2009, from

Lesson Plan 1: Elementary Education - History-Grade Level: 4/5

Elementary Education History Word Document

Elementary Education History PDF


After completion of this activity, students will:* Have a better sense of Chinese lifestyle and culture

  • Be more familiar with the use of a webcam


In this lesson plan, students will have a chance to talk to Chinese students who are approximately their age.

Lesson Plan 2: Elementary Education - Parent/Teacher Resource-Grade Level: All

Elementary Education Parent/Teacher Resource Word Document

Elementary Education Parent/Teacher Resource PDF


After completion of this activity, parents will:* Be able to communicate with their child's teacher in the most effective way


This lesson will create the most effective form of communication between parents/teacher.

Lesson Plan 3:  Elementary Education - Primary Colors - Grade Level - K-2

Elementary Education Primary Colors Word Document

Elementary Education Primary Colors PDF


After completion of this activity, students will: 

  • Have a better understanding of primary colors 
  • Know which primary colors go together to make orange, purple, and green


The purpose of this activity is to create a concept of primary colors and their functions.

Lesson Plan 4: Elementary Education - Dr. Seuss - Grade Level - 3-6

Dr. Seuss Video Chat Lesson Plan

Dr. Seuss Lesson Plan PDF


After the completion of this of this project, students will:

  • Have developed a different writing style
  • Broadened their creative perspective


The purpose of this project is to help the students develop a different writing style

 Lesson Plan 5: Elementary Education - Jackie Robinson - Grade Level - 4-5

Elementary Education Jackie Robinson Word Document

Elementary Education Jackie Robinson PDF


After the completion of this of this project, students will:

  •  Have knowledge about Jackie Robinson's personal and professional life
  •  Have gained valuable knowledge about an important event in U.S. history


The purpose of this activity is to help students realize the importance of Jackie Robinson.


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B. Secondary 

Retrieved April 5, 2009, from

Lesson Plan 1: Secondary Education - Foreign Language (can be adapted for any language)

Secondary Foreign Language Word Document

Secondary Foreign Language PDF


Following this series of lessons, students will be able to: 

  • Speak with a student from another country
  • Be able to communicate in Spanish well enough to visit a Spanish-speaking country


In this series of lessons, students will speak through Google Talk Video with students from a class in a Spanish-speaking country to increase their communication skills with a fluent speaker. Additionally, they will be able to help their Spanish-speaking partner with English.

Lesson Plan 2: Secondary Education - Government

Secondary Government Word Document

Secondary Government PDF


Following this lesson, students will be able to: 

  • Write about local government procedures.
  • Present specific sides of current local government issues.


In this lesson, students will communicate via Google Talk Video with a local government official (ex: state congressman). Students will "interview" the government official about the local procedures in government and additionally about a current "hot topic." Students will then be asked to write a paper about the issue, presenting the side of the argument their official holds.

Lesson Plan 3 (STEM): Secondary Education - Geometry

Secondary Geometry Word Document

Secondary Geometry PDF


Following this lesson students will be able to:

  • Complete basic geometric proofs.
  • Work in groups to combine geometric knowledge and complete a large proof.


Students will work in groups to write basic geometric proofs assigned to them. Then, as a class, students will work with a partnering class to combine the parts of the proof into a large proof.

Lesson Plan 4 Secondary Shakespeare

Shakespeare Lesson Plan Word Document

Shakespeare Lesson Plan PDF


Following this lesson plan students will be able to:

•Understand Shakespeare's Hamlet better.
•Use Google Talk to incoperate what they learned.


Students will read Shakespeare's Hamlet. Then, they will get into groups and discuss five main points from each scene. The groups will use Google Talk to discuss what they learned with the class.

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C.  Post-Secondary

Retrieved April 5, 2009, from

Lesson Plan 1: Countries and their Cultures

Post-Secondary Counties and their Culture Word Document

Post-Secondary Countries and their Cultures PDF


To maintain a better understanding of the cultures surrounding us.


When students first enter the room they will individually be assigned a country that have previously been selected for them. Once the students have their country assigned to them they will continue to their seats where they will answer the question that has been written on the board.

Lesson Plan 2: Ethnicity and Culinary Arts

Post-Secondary Ethnicity and Culinary Arts Word Document

Post-Secondary Ethnicity and Culinary Arts PDF


To gain a better understand of what it takes to create ethnical foods.


When students first enter the room, they will be given the option of picking an ethnicity they are interested in. They will then need to conduct the research and engage in the ethnicity they have chosen.

Lesson Plan 3 (STEM): Dynamics

Post-Secondary Dynamics Word Document

Post-Secondary Dynamics PDF


To learn the basic dynamics of earthquakes.


The students will be observing and taking notes about the findings they found relevant during this experiment. They will need to determine how the height of the object and the mass effect the amount of sway the object possesses.

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d.) Business

Retrieved April 5, 2009, from

Lesson Plan 1: Business Training (Created by Reid Hart-Hults)

Business Training Word Document

Business Training PDF


The following is a plan to actually train management from a business to use Google Talk Video in order to use this tool to simplify there jobs: * This training will help with future meeting within the business 

  • The training can also help communication to other businesses for international trade etc.


An expert will be paid to come into a business and go through the steps that need to be taken in order to be able to use this tool. After this training management should be able to use Google talk Video with ease.

Lesson Plan 2: Business- Business going under

Business Going Under Word Document

Business Going Under PDF


The following is a meeting where employees should be given a chance to talk to their CEO face to face and give their ideas: 

  • This gives people the chance give ideas to their CEO and hear what he thinks about it straight from his mouth.
  • Lower level employee are given a chance to talk to the man (or women) up top.


This plan is intended for a business that is going under and the CEO wants to hear ideas from his employees on what to change. Using Google talk Video the CEO will be able to hear ideas from lower level employees no matter where he might be.

Lesson Plan 3: Business- International Interview

Business Interview Word Document

bussintervi.docBusiness Interview PDF


The following is a plan for management to interview international prospective employees:

  •  Gives management the opportunity to interview people throughout the world without having to pay for their transportation -       
  •  Gives international prospective employee opportunities that they would otherwise not have


This plan is intended for businesses to expand the amount and variety of people they interview without breaking the bank. Using Google Talk video Management from a business more easily find exactly what they are looking for in an employee.

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VII. Illustrations of Educational Value


Google Talk Video has a variety of educational uses.  It can be used by educational institutions to stay in touch without using expensive equipment.  Students, faculty, and staff could all interact using Google Talk Video.  Documents and files can also be shared online while you are chatting, allowing you to share your work for review with others.  Google Talk (without the video) is accessible using your mobile phone, so you can send and retrieve messages from virtually anywhere. 

Google talk is also very user friendly, so people with little experience communicating online can use it.  The video portion of it requires a bit more knowledge of computers, but it can be used with the help of a technician if necessary.  Many students use an internet instant messaging system like AIM to communicate with their friends online; Google Talk Video is a lot like AIM, but it has a lot more potential for educational uses.  Being able to see who you are talking to and share files make it more school-friendly.

Google has taken several measures to ensure the privacy of its users.  However, safety is always an issue when you are dealing with students using computers.  Monitoring the students closely is the best way to assure that they are talking to who you think they are talking to.  Google Talk Video is safer than AIM, because in order for another person to talk to you, you have to accept them.  Every user also has to have a Gmail account, although this may change in the future. 

Allowing students, faculty, and staff of educational institutions to talk and share online is the main attraction to Google Talk Video in the educational realm. It can be used for a variety of projects or lesson plans.  For example, it can be used as a pen pal system to students in a foreign country in a foreign language class.  Instead of writing letters, the students talk to each other in a foreign language.  This would help improve their speaking skills and allow them to interact with someone accross the globe.  It can also be used by teachers and other staff to talk to each other and share ideas or make plans of action.  There are many uses of Google Talk Video, and the longer it is around, more lesson plans and ideas will be adapted for its use.21

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VIII. International Aspects

Use as an International Tool

With the function of Video chat, G-talk Video can compete with various international video chat tools. With a Google account, users can choose from as many as 53 kinds of languages to download the plug-in as they like.  This is convenient for those who are not familiar with English but have the desire to use it. Users of G-talk Video can have a chat with people from all the countries all over the world freely. G-talk Video is also a free chat tool; the only cost is the internet connection.22

How Can Teachers Use G-talk Video Internationally to Benefit their Classroom?

Teachers can use G-talk Video as an international tool in their classrooms. With G-talk Video, students can interact with students from different countries. On the one hand, it will provide students additional opportunities to get acquainted with cultures and history of another country via chatting, which undoubtedly brodens the views of the students. On the other hand, with the G-talk Video, teachers can observe how the same class is going on in another country in real time, which will benefit them a lot in teaching strategies. Except for communicating with teachers and students abroad, G-talk Video will have great value in instruction of language and motor skills.

Disadvantages of Using G-talk Video as an International Tool?

As we all know, G-talk Video is web-based, it can only work where a good Internet connection is readily availabe. This limits the people who can access this tool. The second problem is that the  quality of connection influences the quality of video and audio greatly. If the connection is not good enough, the video image will be too vague to figure out. Meanwhile, one will not be able to hear what the other is talking about. The third is that the internet is not free though one doesn't need to pay for the tool itself. It is reported that in some part of the world, especially the backward regions, it is rather expensive to connect to the Internet. Such a large extra cost cannot be neglected.

How is it Used Differently Internationally?

There are mainly two differences: the language and cultures. If one wants to video chat with a person from another country, the two should have a way to understand each other. For example, they can both speak English though one of the two is from China. Another difference is about the cultures. Different countries have different cultures. In a video chat, one can see the gestures of others. The same gesture in different cultures may have different meaning. If one of them hasn't noticed that, it may bring about some misunderstandings.

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IX. References

  1. Arrington, M. (2009, April). Windows Live to add more social network partners (Digg, Myspace, Facebook, and more. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  2. Google, Inc. (2009). Gmail voice and video chat. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  3. Sayer, P. & Perez J.C. Google buys video conferencing software. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  4. Marratech. (2008). Annoucement. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  5. Sw3 Blog. (2008). Google adds voice and video chat to Gmail. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  6. Google, Inc. (2008). About voice and video chat. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  7. Google, Inc. (2009). Google Talk. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  8. Arrington, M. (2009, April). Windows Live to add more social network partners (Digg, Myspace, Facebook, and more. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  9. Merrill, D. (2007, April). Collaborating with Marratech. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from
  10. Google, Inc. (2009). Welcome to Gmail. Retrieved  April 3, 2009, from
  11. Google, Inc. (2009). Chat with family and friends over the Internet for free. Retrieved April 3, 2009, from
  12. Google, Inc. (2009). Gmail. Retrieved April 3, 2009, from
  13. Skype. (2009). The all-new Skype for Windows. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  14. Tokbox. Free video chat and video mail. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  15. Google, Inc. (2009). Voice and video chat. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  16. Baidu. (2009). Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  17. DDVIP. (2008). Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  18. DDVIP. (2008). Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  19. Skycn. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  20. Google, Inc. (2009). Google Talk. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from
  21. Gapscribe. (2009). GTalk private chat. Retrieved April, 5, 2009, from
  22. Google, Inc. (2009). Gmail voice and video chat. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from

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