Friday, April 10, 2020

Bonus Bite: Record Meet without students

In the previous Google Snack session covering Hangouts Meet, we discussed how to create, host, and record a live session with other participants, but you can also record a video without having other people in the session. This quick Bite will discuss recording videos in Hangouts Meet with and without presenting your screen. This session assumes you are a little familiar with Meet or have read/attended the previous session.

Begin by going to Google Hangouts Meet and choose the Join option when presented with the two options below. You cannot record using the Present option here, but you will be able to present your screen later with the Join option.

You can record videos with just the camera, with both camera and presenting your screen, or just presenting your screen. If you only present your screen, the recorded video will still show your Google Account icon where the camera would be shown. You will first want to decide how you want your video to be shown from those options. If you are doing a video with just your camera, you are ready to go! If you want to present your screen, click on Present Now in the lower right corner and choose whether to present your whole screen or just one window.

If you are presenting your screen, you can choose to turn your camera off if you want, by clicking the camera icon at the bottom center.

Next, make sure you have captions turned on since this will record everything you say in text for students with hearing problems.

Lastly, click the "Three dot menu" and choose the Record Meeting option. This option will change to Stop Recording when you are ready to quit.

Now you are ready to record videos using Google Hangouts Meet and not have anyone else in the session. Go forth and make great videos!

Bonus Bite: Getting started with Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a great tool for communicating with students and staff using an instant messenger or chat feature. This quick Bite will get you started with using Hangouts to chat in your Gmail.

Begin by opening up Gmail. On the left side where your Inboxes and Labels are located, at the bottom is an icon for Hangouts that looks like quotation marks in a speech bubble.

Click on this Hangouts icon to open your chat conversations. If you already have conversations with people, they will be shown here. You can click on these conversations to begin chatting with the chosen people. If you want to start a new chat conversation, click on the plus icon at the top of the Hangouts area, located next to your name.

You can have conversations with just one person or a group of people! When you click on the plus icon to start a conversation with someone, the window below will pop out.

When you click on a conversation, it will pop up in the lower right corner of Gmail and look like this.

It is important to note that you cannot start a Meet video call using this method, you will need to use the Hangouts Meet app instead. That's it! Now you know how to get started with Google Hangouts for chatting!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Google Snacks Volume 18 - Gmail Mailing Lists and Groups

Not all teachers have a need for Google Classroom but still want to send out emails to all of their students to keep them updated. Staff sometimes need to create mailing groups for events, clubs, or any other small group they email on the regular. Contact Lists, or mailing lists, are a good way to create these to keep emails and groups organized. This session will take a look at Contact Lists and Groups to look at the differences between them and their applications.

Begin by clicking the "Waffle" icon then choose Contacts. Your Waffle menu may be organized differently, so you may need to scroll or find the icon.

Once inside Contacts, make a new Label for your mailing list by clicking the Create Label button on the left side, about mid way down the menus.

Name the Label something relevant, since you will be using this later. Then click Save to create the label.

Once you have created a label, at the top of the Contacts, click on the Search bar and begin searching for a staff or student you want to add to the label. Click on that person to open their contact info.

Once you have the person's contact info open, click on the three dots menu in the top right corner of their contact info, then click the label you want to add them to.

After you have added people to the label, we will switch over to Gmail to show how to use these labels. In Gmail, create a new email, then click on the TO and a new window will open.

In the new "Select Contacts" window, click on the My Contacts button on the right side, then choose the label you want to email.

Once you click on the label you want to email, click on the Select All on the left and everyone in that list will be selected.

At the bottom of the Select Contacts window, you will see how many people are selected, then click on the Insert button to add all these people to the email.

You will be able to see the people added to the email after you click Insert. You can do this for all three send options: TO, CC, and BCC. Just be sure to click on the CC or BCC instead of TO, if you want to use those.

So, how are Contact Lists and Groups different? Let's take a look at Groups now. Click on the "Waffle" then click Groups. Again, your Waffle menu may be organized differently, so you may need to scroll or find the icon.

Create a new group by clicking the Create Group button in the top left. We will not complete the process of creating a group, but we will look at the steps.

Groups allow you to assign a new group email address that will be visible to ALL staff.

You would normally use the Contact List over the Groups method so the additional email address is not created. You can create groups that are not email lists, if you wanted to make a group forum for students to communicate and collaborate.

There you have it! Create mailing lists, add people, then create a new email and add the Contact List group to it. I hope this helped you get to know a Google feature you didn't already know before. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.