Our live video events (Studio Visits and Virtual Bus Tours) will make use Google Hangouts on Air.

This enables up to ten people to participate in the conversation from where anywhere in the world- the large center image automatically switches to show the active speaker. Viewers can watch the live stream any time on YouTube Immediately after the event, the video is archived automatically.

Even if you are familiar with hangouts, please review the following tips.

Hanging Out

  • You can participate on a desktop/laptop with any web browser; you can also participate on a mobile device (iOS) (Android)
  • If you have never used it on a desktop, you will have to install the plugin
  • About half an hour before we go “live” we will send participants a special URL that will allow them in the room. Please do not share this link.
  • Try to get on as high speed a connection as possible! Mo’ internet is good. Your experience may be diminished on a busy wifi connection.
  • Please either use a pair of earphones/headphones or a headset as your computer’s speakers to cut down on echo/feedback (when the sound from the speakers circles back to your microphone, so other people get echo, it can make people feel crazy!)
  • Also seek a location if possible that lacks background noise. Avoid sitting in front of a window or bright light so you do appear as a silhouette.
  • Try to set up you device to the camera is at eye level. (a stack of thick books works great!) You probably don’t want viewers looking up your nose or to only see your ceiling.
  • If you use a laptop, please set it on a stable surface. Putting it on your lap may be comfortable but its not for the viewers. If you are participating from a mobile device, try to prop it up in one place rather than trying to hold it in your hand.
  • When talking, try to look into the camera.
  • Once in the hangout, hover your mouse over the top of the screen to access the toolbar:

    • Use the microphone icon to mute yourself (e.g. if the dog starts barking like crazy)
    • You can turn the camera off (3rd icon) if you prefer not to be on camera or if something unexpectedly happens
    • The 4th icon allows you to adjust your quality settings if your connection is poor.

Mostly, enjoy the experience!


Featured image from 10 Pointers for Google Hangout Success (Ketchum Blog)

Alan Levine
Alan Levine feels weird writing about himself in the third person. A 1990s pioneer on the web and early proponent of blogging, he shares his ideas at CogDogBlog.com. His interests include web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), mocking MOOCs, daily photography, bending WordPress, and randomly dipping into the infinite river of the internet. He and his dog enjoy the peace of a little home in Strawberry, Arizona.

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