Using Google Hangouts for Weather Education

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 3:30 PM
125AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Tim Brice, NOAA/NWS/Weather Forecast Office in El Paso, TX, Santa Teresa, NM; and M. Pazos

For many years, the National Weather Service has been engaged in public-education efforts that have used methods such as pamphlets, SKYWARN Spotter Training classes, classroom presentations and web sites like Southern Region's Jet Stream site. However, with the advent of social media and the increased availability of high-speed internet, NWS offices now have “high-tech” options at their disposal to help educate the public. One of those options is video-conferencing.

This presentation will describe how the NWS El Paso Area office uses the video-conferencing capability of the Google Plus social network (called Hangouts), to help educate students about the weather. The presentation will detail the advantages of using Hangouts such as document sharing, interactive forms and YouTube archiving. Limitations such as hardware and bandwidth constraints will also be discussed. Finally, this presentation will also include a short discussion on possible future uses of the Hangouts video-conferencing platform, and how these could impact the National Weather Service's commitment to weather education.