How-to for C301 hangouts
First, some tips:
- The "conference directory" on the lower right of the screen
defaults to fairly large icons. You can shrink the size of the
directory with command-minus (mac) and control-minus (windows/linux);
- You do NOT have to run a google hangout connection when you are
presenting. That's handled by the system that displays the
- You should use largish fonts when laying out your slides; google
hangout does heavy encoding (for obvious reasons) of video, so tiny
text will be unreadable. If you're connecting remotely, check your
bandwidth (see below) to get the best image. (see the end of the
document for some examples.)
- ALL three microphones, when using a hangout, are LIVE. If you chat to
your neighbor during a talk, it might be picked up!
- If you wind up with feedback when remote people speak to you, the
likely source is on their end. Ask them to turn down their
speaker. If all else fails, turn down the speaker on the c301
end. (See "speaker for remote talker", below)
- When you are not being connected to the hangout, you are private.
If you are worried and want confirmation, send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Loud sounds in the room are loud sounds remotely, too. If you
allow the doors to slam if you have to leave, it gets picked up, and
people remotely-connected will have no context (that is, they didn't
see you leave), so it's just a loud noise. (Same for loud coughs.)
Be considerate of the audience.
Connecting from remote machines
You must use Chrome to connect to the c301 system.
You'll need the URL for the hangout (should be avilable via the
page you used to reach this help)
You'll be presented with a signin screen.
Sign in with either:
- your gmail account (e.g. email@example.com) or
- Your rutgers scarletmail username (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)
for Rutgers-private hangouts.
The hangout interface allows you to adjust whether you're sending
audio or video, and hang up the connection.
Once you are connected (from your remote location), you'll have
several sources to view the presentation.
The slides being presented on the projector/tvs in C301.
2) Camera 1 - the speaker/podium
Video of the speaker and part of the first row of the audience, so you can
see the speaker.
3) Camera 2 - the audience
Most of the the audience.
To select between, use the video directory on the lower right part of
the hangout screen.
For problems or for additional help, please contact email@example.com
Originating a hangout
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up the hangout. Tell us
the date, time and length, and if you want the hangout to be
Rutgers-private, or general-access.
When a session is not active, the cameras and microphones do NOT
send anything to the hangout. If you don't ask for a session,
your c301 presentation is private to that room.
As far as presenting, you don't have to do much different from a
regular c301 presentation. Plug your laptop into the appropriate
cable, select 'laptop' to send to the projectors (or select 'podium'
to use the podium), turn on the speaker for remote people to talk
back (see below), turn on the projector, tv's, and the "handwave"
display (if you want), and off you go.
Like any remote-chat system, remote users should turn off their
microphones when they aren't needed. We generally recommend chat
headsets for significant interaction, but they are not required.
To try and keep things as class-like as possible, we've added a
"handwave" display for remote speakers (see below).
Speaker for remote talker
Just turn on the speaker. It is currently attached to the TV to the
right of the projector (when facing the whiteboard.) Adjust the
volume to suit.
NOTE: 'hangout' auto-throttles throughput, often more restrictively
than necessary. If it does, you can adjust yours by selecting the
bar-graph icon in the center of your chrome window:
slide it over to the right as far as possible.
When remote people want to ask a question, they can just start
talking, of course. However, this may be disorienting to people in
the room, so we added a "handwave." There's a display in the back of
the room, which connects to the hangout.
To 'wave a hand', remote
users can click on the "hand" on the website at
This will run a little animated hand-wave on the back-of-the-room
'handwave display', and allow the speaker to pause organically and
ask for the question.
Since the video of the slides (it's done via a gizmo that converts
hdmi to webcam-looking usb) is heavily encoded, some care should be
taken in selecting fonts. (Specific sizes depends on what font you're
using, so hard-and-fast rules are not quite on.)
This slide looks great (click on the image to see full-sized):
This slide looks fine on the left, but the right side is hard to read.
This one is on the edge, but notice that boldface fonts are easier to read.
This slide has two issues: that the text in the upper-right graphic is
pretty hard to read, and the text in the lower right is obscured with
the video directory. The second issue is easily handled (the remote
person can shrink the size of the directory with command-minus (mac)
and control-minus (windows/linux); or just leave the lower right to
less critical text. The font issue just means you should select
slightly larger fonts than you might otherwise for "small text."