In crafting an eLearning experience, we decided to explore Google Education Apps. We made a few discoveries mucking around.
One aspect that we wanted was to have an online conference. Since we are working with both primary and secondary students, we wanted the setup to be as simple as possible.
Initially, we thought we had to download the Google+ extension and set up profiles. This would have meant too much technical setup at home, especially for the young ones.
Then we discovered that within the Gmail interface, we could have online conference too. But first, we need to upgrade from Googletalk to Google Hangout.
At your Gmail site, look at the bottom left-hand column. If you see a simple speech bubble icon, then you need to upgrade by clicking on green button on the right of your profile pic which will open a menu.
Click on the topmost item “Try the New Hangouts” and it will refresh your page. After that you will see a new icon on the left bottom corner.
Now, we are all ready to invite colleagues and students to an online conference.
When we collaborate using Googledoc, there is also a chat icon through which collaborators can chat with each other.
This has been fun to discover, and we look forward to an exciting first foray into eLearning.
Afternote: After this post was initially written some weeks back, I had wanted to publish it. However, Google took this feature away just about then. So, I held the post back. Now, Google has left things as it is described here, but not sure till when.