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How to Participate in On-Line Training

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I do live on-line training. That is I sit in front of my computer at home and train other people (participants) who are sitting in front of their computer where ever they might be at the time. It can be anywhere in the world. I can see and speak to each of the other people and they can see and speak to me. It is also possible for me to show what is on my computer screen to the participants and the participants to show what is on their screen to me and other participants. And with participants permission I can operate their computer.

All this is achieved over the internet. There are a number of programs or systems that allow this to happen but the one I use is provided by Google and is called Google Hangout.

It is completely free to use. You have to have a Google account to be able to use Google hangout and also join Google +.

This course is to show you how to use Google hangout to participate in live online training.

What will be covered:

  1. - How to set up a Google account. Needed to be able to use Google Hang out (what is used for the Live Online training)
  2. - How to get to Google Hangout
  3. - How to test your Camera Microphone and speakers
  4. - What to do if your Camera, Microphone or Speakers are not working
  5. - How to see and speak to others and how others can see and speak to you.
  6. - How to participate even if you don't have a camera or microphone or they are not working
  7. - How you can show others what is on your computer screen
  8. - How to allow others, with you permission, to control your computer
  9. - How to put on a digital Hat, hair piece or facial hair , for fun
  10. - How to change your background, so you appear to be in Venice or on a Glacier
  11. - How to participate in future Live online training.
  12. - How to watch recording of previous Live online training.

A Word of Warning

Google Hangout is a Cloud application. That means that rather than it having to be installed on your computer or devise it exists on the internet and each time you use it, it is run from the internet. A consequence of this, is that it can be changed by Google at any time. This has happened in the past and most defiantly will happen in the future. Consequently although you may be able to follow the notes in this course and be able to use Hangouts, because at some time it will change, you may have to adapt to the changes to be able to use it in the future. Just like you had to adapt to using a button pressing phone from a rotary dialing phone. It also means that these notes, may become out of date. But please notify me if you believe they are, at Email Address: It has changes (Nov 2015). You can not longer access hangouts for Google +

How to set up a Google account

Here is a video that takes you through the process:

The web site where you set up a Google account is here:

Basically you just fill in the information it asks you for.

You do not have to be truthful in the information you provide and you can set up as many Google accounts as you want. However it then may be difficult to remember all the account user names and passwords you have set up.

If you want to know why this information is asked for click on the “Learn more about why we ask for this information” at the bottom of the Sign Up screen.

When it asks you to choose a user name, if you enter one that someone else has already used you will get this message “Someone already has that username. Try another?” The longer you make the user name the more change you have of getting on that has not already been used.

When it asks you to enter a password the charters you enter will be replaced with dots. The idea is that anyone near you will not be able to see what you enter because if they saw it they could use your password to access your Google account. But because of this, and that you may press the wrong keys, you are required to enter the password a second time. Should the password not match you will have to enter the password in both places again.

The “Prove you're not a robot” part is to stop computer programs from automatically setting up 1,000's of Google accounts. The program that do this are called robots. These robot programs generally can not read the graphic images or hear sounds. Im not sure why people would want to automatically set up 1000's of Googles accounts, but apparently some people do and that is why this bit is there.

If you have trouble reading the graphic the you can click on the speaker icon and it will say some number that you type in.

How to get to Google Hangout

Like most things to do with computing their are many ways. This is because Google Hangout is completely internet based so can have links to it from many web pages. Also it will depend on if you are starting a hangout or joining one and the type of hangout you want to start or join.

Joining a Google Hangout

If you wish to join a Hangout you will may be sent an email with a link on it, or a link to a website that has a link to the hangout.

For the hangouts where I do live training I usually send people an email that tells them to go to this web page:

All you then have to do is click on the link that will be on that page. However be aware that the link will only be their about half an hour before the training is to start. You will see why later.

If are not signed in to your Google Account you will get a screen that asks you to enter your Google Email Address and your password.

NOTE: You only have to enter your Google Account name rather than your Google Email address in the box that has the Text “Email” in it. In other words you don't have to enter the “” part. But if you do it will still work.

If this is your fist time using Google Hangout you most likely will get a screen that asks you to upgrade to Google +. Just follow the screen prompts. Also if it is the first time that Google Hangout has been used on the computer, you are using, you may also get a screen that ask you to install the Google video chat plug-in. Again just follow the prompts.

If all goes well you will be presented with a the main Hangout screen, where you may see me.

How to start you own hangout

Here is a video that show one way to do it:

This other video also explains how to start and use some of the features of Google Hangout:

This Video show 3 ways of starting a Google Hangout:

If you want to watch more videos on how to start a Google hangout just do a search in Google for “starting a google hangout” and when you get the results click on Videos or More and then Videos near the top of the results screen.

You can start your own Google hangouts. There are a number of ways of doing this.

One way is to go to this link:

Another way to start a Hangout is from the web version of Gmail.

In the Web version of the Gmail page towards the middle of the left, column, under compose, may be a gray icon, that looks like a camera. Click on it.

Hangouts on Air

You can start two different kinds of Hangouts, the normal one and Hangouts on Air. The on Air ones are the same as the normal ones, except.

  1. - Any number of people can join an On Air hangout, where as the normal ones are limited to 10 people
  2. - Any person, that knows about it, can watch it
  3. - Those that join to watch are not seen on the main or strip screens, and so can not talk or be seen
  4. - A way that those not seen, can interact with those those that can be seen, is via a Q&A (Questions and Answer) App
  5. - The Hangout can optionally be recorded and later viewed on YouTube. The recording can later be made private or deleted
  6. - Whilst the hangout is Live, it can not be made private so participants need to be made aware of this.
  7. - It is possible to have only yourself (one person) in it. Enter you own email address as the participant. Useful for making a video or capturing screen interaction
  8. - You have to have a YouTube Channel to commence a Hangout on Air. Via your YouTube channel you can control the recording you make
  9. - Their is no limit to the number of Recording you can make
  10. - One recording is limited to 8 hours

Like the normal Hangouts there are multiple ways of starting an on Air one. One way is via Google +. Select Hangouts and further down the screen will be an option to Start a Hangout on Air.

The major difference with the on air one, is the ability to record it. This is achieved by clicking on the “Start Broadcast” button . When you then click on the “Stop Broadcast” button the recording is stopped. It is NOT currently possible to pause the recording or restart a stopped one. A new Hangout on Air has to be started.

When the Broadcast is stopped and the call is ended, a message indicating that the On Air Hangout is over, and where to go to see the recording will be presented.

Note: that the recording may not be viewable from within YouTube immediately from your YouTube Channel. When within your YouTube Channel if you refresh your Browser screen you will eventually see the recording. The refresh icon on most browsers looks like this:

How to test your Camera Microphone and speakers

To test your camera, just look at the hangout screen. If you do not appear on the screen your camera is not working.

To test your microphone and speakers, click anywhere on the screen and when some icons appeared click on the cog one (settings)

If your microphone is working correctly, as you talk some small green dots will appear to be left of the microphone icon.

To see if your speakers are working correctly, click on the “ playing says sound” text. You should hear a sound

When you are satisfied with all the settings, click on save

What to do if your Camera, Microphone or Speakers are not working

A video on some thing to try if you Microphone is not working:

This video show a number of things you can check if you speakers are not working:

This video goes into a lot more detail and can get a bit technical:

If you're using a desktop computer, that does not have built in speakers and microphone, it is extremely important that you make sure that the correct cables are plug in to your devices. Usually it is embossed close to the sockets what each one is for, i.e. Speakers or microphones. However sometimes their are only colour codes with no indication as to which colours do what.

If you are using a headset is important to know which cables to plug into which sockets.

Even if the computer you're using has speakers, it is better to use a headset or speaker earplugs to stop feedback. Feedback happens when other people are talking there sound goes back through your microphone. You will not know about it, as the problem will only be heard by others.

How to see and speak to others and how others can see and speak to you

Via this link:

You can see current live what is called Google Hangouts on Air. These are taking place now. Other than just watching the content notice how the Hangout system works. In particular notice:

  1. - As each person talks, they might appear as a bigger image. (this is being done automatically by the system based on the sound)
  2. - Each person in the group also appears in a strip at the bottom of the screen
  3. - Some people may have text and or graphics in the bottom third of their screen
  4. - At some points in time the image at the bottom of screen may be replaced by a graphic shadow of that person.

You can change the behavior of how this works. If you click on the person's image in the strip at the bottom of the screen, that person's image will stay as the main screen. Clicking it again would change to back to normal. If you click on the camera icon, your image will no longer be displayed. If you click on the microphone icon all sound coming from you will be muted.

There are many other things that can be done within a Hangout

This video show this and well a number of other features you can use withing a Hangout:

How to participate even if you don't have a camera or microphone or they are not working

Google hang out has a chat facility. That is you can type text that other people can see and you can see text that other people type.

Consequently even if you do not have a microphone or camera you will still be able to see and hear what others are saying and you can still contribute by typing in text.

If the text facility is not switched on, you can switch it on by clicking on the main screen and clicking on the chat icon at the top left.

Although you click on the left to start the chat function, the chat part of the screen appears on the right. As each person types text and presses the enter key, text appears. You enter text in the small rectangle at the bottom of the chat session.

How you can show others what is on your computer screen

This video show how to do it:

Screen sharing allows you to show what is on your computer screen with others. To activate screen sharing, click on the main screen so that you can see icons on the left hand side. Click on the one labelled screen sharing.

A dialogue showing each of the current displayed screens will be presented. Click on the one you wish to share and then click on the Start Screenshare button.

To switch off screen sharing, returned to the main hang out window and click on the screen sharing icon again.

It is important to realise that if you share only one window and if you then switch to another window, then others will not be able to see what is happening in that window.

If you wish to allow others to see what is in multiple windows then you should share the whole desktop.

If you share the whole desktop, initially you may get video feedback. That is where you see a video within a video within a video. To overcome this, when In full screen sharing mode, switch to a full screen window that is not the Google Hangout window.

How to allow others, with you permission, to control your computer

This function is called Remote Desktop within Google Hangout

This video shows how to use it:

The remote desktop function is initiated by the person that will be controlling someone else's computer.

The person whose computer, that will be controlled, will be asked, two times, it is OK for the other person to control their computer.

Both people will be able to operate the computer at the same time. Mouse movements and screen updates will be presented on both computers.

Either party can terminate the remote desktop function at any time.

If you are controlling somebody else's computer and the information is too small to read, then decrease the size of text on your browser by pressing the control and minus key. Making the text on the browse screen smaller, makes the remote desktops screen larger.

If remote desktop is not shown as an icon on the left hand side, you may have to install it. This is achieved by clicking on the view more apps and then selecting + Add Apps and then selecting Remote Desktop

Once installed or if it is installed, click on its icon to start it. You will be asked who you wish to help. Click on the appropriate person. You're not be able to control that person's computer until they have accepted to do so.

When controlling somebody else's desk top there will be an lag between when you move the your mouse and when the mouse pointer moves on the other person's computer. This is indicated by displaying two mouse pointers

How to put on a digital Hat, hair piece or facial hair , for fun

This is achieved with Google Effects within a Hangout

This video show how to start it:

Click on the Google Effects Icon, and the effects pane will appear

Click on the efffect you wish to use. click on the effect again to remove it or click on remove all effects to remove them all

How to change your background, so you appear to be in Venice or on a Glacier

This is just another Google effect. Is should come under “New Features” and “Backgrounds”

How to participate in future Live online training.

Just wait until you get an email from me about a future Hangout. But if you are don't want to wait then send me an e-mail and suggest what you want and I will see about putting together a course together about it.

Email Address:

You should start testing to make sure you know how to use your microphone speakers and camera on your computer. You can do this by going into a hangout by yourself, making sure that your camera is working, that is you can see yourself, your microphone is working, ie you can see bars moving within settings, and you can hear sounds, which can also be tested in settings.

To go into a hangout by yourself, within Google plus click the word hangouts on the right hand side, then click on start a video hang out at the bottom of the list. When it asks you to invite others, just click on cancel

The below diagram gives an overall picture of how Goggle Hangout works:

Thanks to Pierce Jaques for the diagram

How to watch recording of previous Live online training.

With Google hangouts on air, a recording is made of the hangout, which are automatically put into YouTube. YouTube is Googles repository of videos.

When I do live online training using Google hang out, I usually always make it a Hangout on Air, and will place the link to the video in the same page as the invitation to the training. So watch out for it their.

Here is another page I wrote on how to used the functions withing YouTube:

how_to_participate_in_online_training.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/14 18:52 (external edit)