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Google Hangouts: Best Practices

Best Practices

Google Hangouts screensharing technology only allows the participants to view each other’s screens; it does NOT give any participant control of another participant's computer. You do not need a webcam or microphone for screensharing, although a microphone and speakers or headphones can be useful.


To meet remotely with a consultant, you will first set up Google Hangouts and then make an appointment:


1) Activate Google Plus on your Google (FAU) account. If you do not have a Google (FAU) account, you can use another Gmail account. If you do not have any sort of Google (FAU) or Gmail account, see note below.


Screensharing is not available in Hangouts on accounts that do not have Google Plus activated. To activate Google Plus, log into your Google (FAU) email, and then click on the +[YourName] link all the way on the left, on the black bar at the top of the screen. You will fill out some information if you have not done this before. This does not obligate you to use Google Plus in any way. (Google Plus is a Facebook-like social media platform.)


2) Make an appointment with the consultant via email or phone. If you have a phone number at which you will be available, please provide that in case technical problems make connecting difficult, or if we have audio problems.


3) Accept the invitation to chat from the consultant. In order to participate in a Google Hangout with someone, they must already be in your "invited to chat" category of contacts. The consultant(Librarian) will initiate this, and you just need to look for an email or notification about the invitation. This can be done at the time of the appointment, too.


4) (Optional) Test screensharing with a friend. Do this from whatever computer you plan to have the consultation from. E.g., that might be from a Sites computer that has GIS software as well, because you'll want to share your screen to get help troubleshooting a problem in GIS. If from a non-centrally-managed computer, you may have to install browser plugins in order to make this work. Google's Chrome browser will work best with Google Hangouts.


5) At the time of your appointment, be logged into your Google (FAU) or Gmail account, and wait for the Google Hangout invitation from the consultant.