When I first saw this post I contemplated signing up but then got a little bit scared by the fact that it would be aired online for everyone to see and resigned myself to be an observer…
But when I was approached to take part I couldn’t say no because the whole point of this course is to learn about new tools and to try things that I am not familiar with. It’s just an online chat with people… I can do that right!?
I was worried about a few things to begin with:
- Worried my laptop would play up
- Worried that the microphone wouldn’t work and I would sound terrible
- Worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect and join the conversation (technical difficulties)
- Feeling self-conscious and worried I would say something silly in front of a lot of people
I sat down about an hour before the start time to set up my microphone and prepare for the discussion. The email the Rudai23 team sent me was really helpful and covered everything I needed to know. Here are the example questions which I prepared for:
Can you introduce yourself and tell us where you work?
What’s your favourite thing?
How do you manage your time?
Are you enjoying it?
Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming things specifically?
Do you find the course a lot of work?
Did you think the course would be this much work?
Have you applied any of your knowledge in a practical sense yet? Although there hasn’t been much time for that yet!!
When or how do you think you would use each of the things in your library setting?
My laptop worked fine and I literally just plugged the mic into my laptop and that was it. I then logged into Google + and waited (I was a little bit worried how easy it was – I was convinced I’d missed a trick but it really was that easy). They just called me into the Hangout and I just had to click a few buttons that was it, we were online!
I am really happy that I took part because it was a really good experience. Because I had prepared some answers to the questions I felt it was easy to get involved in the conversation. The only difficulty is timing – so speaking when no one else is speaking otherwise it is very difficult to hear what people are saying. Overall I think we did OK with this though and everyone had their chance to speak and get involved. It would be easy to spend at least on hour on there because it takes a while for each person to have their say and we only got through a couple of questions in the 20 minutes.
The only drawback of Hangouts is that if you can’t get online and join the Hangout, lose your connection or the connection isn’t great in the first place it can make the experience difficult. But this can’t really be helped by anyone and should be considered when doing things online.
I will certainly be involved in the next one because it’s great fun and it’s nice to see everyone and have a real chat. If you have an agenda and a list of things to talk about like we did and the technology is reliable then I think Google Hangouts is a really useful tool. It would be really useful in the library to share a meeting with people who can’t make it in person. I think there is a lot of potential and I am going to explore it a little further. I haven’t hosted my own yet so I might have a go with that next.
Thanks again Rudai23!
I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.