Sunday, April 26, 2020

Useful Google Meet Extensions

Google Meet is a great video tool. It can be used for video conferencing, screen-sharing, and even screen-recording. On its own, Meet is pretty basic. You can see up to 16 participants at a time, share your screen, and record meetings. The good news, there are extensions that can add functionality to Meet. Below are some of the useful extensions to make Google Meet even better! Click the link in each tool’s title or head to the Chrome Web Store for more details. 

All these extensions will need to be installed before starting your Google Meet. Also, these only affect the person using the tool. Others in your Meet will need to also install any used extension in order to use the same tools (except the visual tools as they are only needed on the one side).

This extension adds the ability to see everyone in a Google Meet. This allows only the participants who have this extension already installed to see the others with the simple click on the Grid icon. 

Extension Options:
  • Only show participants with video
  • Highlight speakers
  • Include yourself int he grid
  • Enable grid view by default
  • Enable Screen Capture Mode (takes names off the screen)

This allows Meet to create a spreadsheet that records who was in a Meet on a given day. 

Extension Options:
  • Take attendance with a click
  • Create new Spreadsheets
  • Create new tabs in a spreadsheet

How-to video HERE

Google Meet Breakout Rooms

Welcome to the Breakout Rooms Extension which enhances Google Meet:

  • View all breakout rooms together in Tile or Tab format

  • Single-click to move seamlessly between rooms

  • Assign participants in either ad hoc or preassigned mode

  • Broadcast audio and video into all of the breakout rooms

  • Customize colors

  • One-time setup in Calendar.  Reuse links and never use Calendar again

  • Basic reports for attendance, breakout groups, participant group assignments, etc

  • Individual room controls (mute all participants, remove all, close room)

  • Export and Import Rooms links as well as the entire Extension data

  • Online help video library

  • Online version release notes 

  • Re-Tile to reset all the tiled windows in their appropriate place and size

This app adds a raise hand feature and whiteboard into Google Meet for each participant with the extension installed.

Extension Options:
  • Share whiteboard with others.
  • Math equations available

Nod allows Meet participants to send real-time reactions to presenters and speakers during meetings on Google Meet. It also allows for a “Raise Hand” feature.

Extension Options:
  • See Raised Hand
  • See Emoji Feedback

Video Details HERE

This will enable simple push to talk functionality to make it easier to only have your microphone on when talk to prevent feedback especially in large meetings

Extension Options:
  • When the spacebar is pressed down it will unmute the microphone 
  • When released it will mute the microphone

This extension allows the “space bar” to control the Mute and Unmute while in a Google Meet.

Extension Options:
  • Mute/Unmute: Quick push of the “Space Bar”
  • Hold “Space Bar” (default) to talk, release to go back to mute

How-to video HERE

Easily mute and unmute your Google Meet tabs!

To set the keyboard shortcuts, right-click the app icon > Manage Extensions> click menu > Keyboard shortcuts. Set keyboard shortcuts for this extension. 

Extension Options:
  • App's icon is tri-colored, there is no active Google Meet session.
  • App's icon is green, the microphone is currently unmuted.
  • App's icon is red, the microphone is currently muted.

For muting and unmuting Google Meet from the extension icon no matter what tab you're currently looking at.

Extension Options:
  • Toggle mute in your active Google Meet no matter what tab you're looking at
  • Extension icon is green when you're in an active Google Meet and unmuted, red when muted, and otherwise gray

Add visual effects to your Google Meet. 

Extension Options:
  • Add Backgrounds (*Needs Green Screen behind participant)
  • Blur
  • Pixelate
  • Freeze 
  • Inverse
  • Contrast
  • Virtual Glasses

Set/View users status, whiteboard sharing, react with Emojis, meeting timer, mute/unmute meeting audio, locate & focus on Google Meet.

Extension Options:
  • User Status Update
  • Real-time Whiteboard Sharing

Some of these extensions are in version 1.x so there may be many updates/changes in the works as well as some bugs could occur. Use these knowing there could potentially be issues.

If you want these directions in a document click HERE!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Make an Editable PDF with Google Slides

Let me first say…”I am not a fan of worksheets!” Whew...I got that out there! With that said, there is a time and place for things to be “fill in the blank” style. Also, many teachers have great resources that they want students to be able to use and learn from while at home during this COVID-19 quarantine. If you have PDFs that you normally print and have students fill in, there is a way to do this digitally. All you will need to know how to do is to take a screenshot and use Google Slides.

How to create a Screenshot:
  • 𝐏𝐂:
    • (Use the app called "𝙎𝙣𝙞𝙥 & 𝙎𝙠𝙚𝙩𝙘𝙝" in Applications). Select an area of your screen to capture.
    • Check out this video below for more help.
  • 𝐌𝐚𝐜:
    • (Command+Shift+3) This captures the entire screen.
    • (Command+Shift+4) This lets you capture a select area of your screen.
  • 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤:
    • (Ctrl + window switch key) This captures the entire screen.
    • (Ctrl + Shift + window switch key) This lets you capture a select area of your screen.
  • 𝐌𝐨𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞:
    • iOS (Hold Power Button + Home Button)
    • Android (Hold Power Button + Volume Down Button)

Take a Screenshot:
  1. Open up the PDF you want to use. Make sure you can see the whole document on your screen (You may have to use the 3 dots in Chrome in the top right to zoom out).

  1. Same this screenshot to your device. 

Set Screenshot as Background in Slide:
  1. Open a Google Slide.
  2. Click “File” and go to “Page setup”.

  1. Click Custom and enter 8.5 x 11.

  1. Delete the text boxes out of the slide and click on “Background” and “Choose Image”.

  1. Browse for the image you saved and select it and click “Done”.
  2. Use the “Text Box” tool to add Text Boxes everywhere you want students to enter text/numbers.

  1. I make sure to edit the font size and center align the text so when students click n the box it will be large enough and centered (if needed) in the box.

Share the Slide:
All you have left to do is share this slide with your students. Remember, you want each of your students to have their own. The best way is through Google Classroom! 
  1. Create a new assignment.
  2. Attach the Slide Deck by click the “Add” button.
  3. Make sure to choose the bottom option that says “Make a copy for each student”. 

  1. Then click “Assign” and you have an “Editable PDF”...well...sort of, that students can enter in text or numbers!

If you want these steps in a Document click HERE!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Creating a Google Voice Number

Count me as one of the lucky ones. I did this years ago and have used it often. Recently, Google has made the creation of Google Voice numbers an add-on (read: Paid component) of the standard school G-Suite account. What does that mean? You can still create a Google Voice number, but you will need to use a personal Gmail account to do this. That means that you will not have this Google Voice number connected with your school account. This is a bummer, but for staff that needs to contact parents and students and do not want to use their personal numbers, this is the way to do it.

Choose a Google Voice Number:
  1. Sign in to your personal Gmail account.
  2. Choose “For Personal Use” and choose “Web”.

  1. Click “Continue”.

  1. Search for your area code or city. 

  1. Find the best choice of number for your use. After you click “Select” you will need to verify your number. Click “Verify”.

  1. Enter your number and click “Send Code”.

  1. This will send a code to your phone number for you to enter. 
  2. After entering the number you will be set up. Click “Verify”.

  1. You will see your new Google Voice number. Click “Finish”.

Using Your Google Voice Number from the Web:
This is the way I use my Google Voice number. I start calls on the computer and finish them on my phone.
  1. You will need to make this adjustment in the settings. (Unless you want to make calls from your that case leave this switch off.)

  2. Use the dialer in the bottom right to enter a number (or a contact list) to start a call. Then click the blue phone icon at the top right to start the call

  1. You will get a call on your forwarded device. Answer it and you will be directed to the call you placed. After your call is done, just hang up. 

Using Your Google Voice Number Using the Google Voice App:
I don’t use this one because I do not want my personal device to ring with calls. I like to answer the voicemail and call back. Just my preference.
  1. Head to your App Store and install the Google Voice App.
  2. Open the app and set it up (make sure to sign in with the correct Personal Gmail account you used to choose your number.
  3. Head to the settings and choose how you want it to work.

However you choose to use Google Voice, the benefit of having a way to connect with students and parents will pay off. YOu can share this number for them to call you as well.

If you want these directions in a document, click HERE!