Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My First Google Hangout on Air Reflection!

I am offering an online Google Basics Summer class to staff at the +William Davies in which I am implementing many concepts of Google apps.  The summer class main focus will be on Google Drive, however, it will be using other apps such as Google Classroom, Hangouts, Communities, Chats, Google Plus, Calendar and Gmail.  All of the participants are using their Google Apps for Education account to complete the online class. We meet every other week for about an hour in which I teach the teachers, provide professional development, about the basics of Google Drive.  In turn, they are given hands-on activities and assignments to complete.

I wanted to make it flexible for my students so that they have the option to watch my lesson at any time.  Well, that means I had to use Google Hangouts on Air because it allows me to teach my lesson, record, and publish it.  Also, once the broadcast is over, the video becomes available on my YouTube channel.  

For the first class, I had 4 students, in which they were able to join the Google Hangout on Air and participate in the lesson.  I did mute their microphones because of sound interference.  

Since this was my first time providing instruction using Google Hangout on Air, I was not familiar with it as I would have liked to have been, so the first recording took a bit longer. Once we got through a few technical hurdles, I was able to provide instruction on Google Drive.

I think it is important to reflect on your experiences so that you can learn from them and improve the next time.  Since I explored an unfamiliar area, I would like to reflect on a few things:  
  1. Be sure you are in a quiet room or area of your home. It is much easier to work in this type of space where there are no distractions.
  2. Equipment - make sure you have a quality microphone and headphones.  I did not realize that my voice sounded muffled until after the recording was over.  (So, I purchased a microphone from Amazon, the Audio Technica 2005. This was recommended by +Jeffrey Bradbury of TeacherCast).  I simply used a pair of earbuds for this session and I will try using a better pair next time.
  3. Check the sound settings on your computer and in Google Hangout on Air to help with any adjustments to the sound quality.
  4. Screen sharing - most of the time, I did not have my screen maximized for my audience.  Next time I will maximize my screen so that the audience can see my keystrokes and options better.
  5. Practice Practice Practice - I will practice a lot more so that I can feel more comfortable with the interface.  In addition, this will allow me to test the sound quality and my new microphone too.
If you would like to listen to my first Google Hangout on Air webinar, click on this link.  Just be warned, I sound like a robot!  Live, learn, reflect, redo!

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