CampMinder Magazine Volume 3 - Page 14

TECH TOOLS Virtual Road Show T here is no denying the power of a visual: camp websites are full of pictures and videos, directors are using Skype to interview staff applicants, and parents expect photo updates daily – sometimes hourly – during the summer. As directors at Green River Preserve in Cedar Mountain, N.C., we prefer to see our staff applicants’ reactions, personality, and expressions before hiring them. Our parents appreciate the opportunity to do the same with the people who will be caring for their children over the summer. However, because we enroll campers from many states across the country, traveling to meet each prospective camper family is impractical. Enter the latest technology connecting people visually, in real time – Google+ Hangouts. This free service provides an opportunity for up to ten families to join a video conversation. All of the participants have the ability to see and interact with one another. We use this technology to efficiently and economically connect with prospective families. converse face-to-face with families in six states and simultaneously generate content for our camp’s YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages. We have found tremendous success with our Virtual Road Shows, and we’re happy to share some tips with you on how you can best use Google+ Hangouts. Google+ Hangout Features to Love SCREENSHARE. Anything happening on your screen can be broadcast to the other folks in the Hangout. This is great for showing pictures, documents, or presentations. YOUTUBE APP. Though this feature does not work when broadcasting using Hangouts On Air, it is an easy way to share videos with everyone in the Hangout who is running the YouTube app. LOWER THIRD. The Hangout Toolbox provides the capability of adding a lower third to your screen. Want to display your name, title, camp logo, and email address? Install the Hangout Toolbox, type in your info, upload your logo, and turn on your Lower Third. GOOGLE EFFECTS. You can be silly! Want to give your entire presentation wearing a pirate hat? Need sound effects or a birthday cake to enhance the things you are saying? Google Effects has all kinds of silly additions to your screen that make everyone smile because they are ridiculous. And what’s more camp-y than being able to laugh at yourself and be silly sometimes? HANGOUTS ON AIR. Somebody can’t log in to join the Hangout? They can watch the live stream on YouTube or watch the whole broadcast later. There is easy integration between the two services which makes uploading and managing videos a breeze. 6 Tips for Hosting a Successful Hangout 1 Before you run a Hangout with prospective families, play around and get familiar with it. There are a lot of great features, some of which are fun and quirky. 2 Send your attendees the invitation link to join the Hangout at least ten minutes prior to your intended start time. You may need to help participants who have never used Google+ Hangouts before. 3 4 5 Google+ TM plus.google.com/hangouts Completely free. 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