• Jennifer Schubring

Mousing Around in Google Meet

I've heard a lot about "mouse control" lately as so many of us are providing telepractice/instruction during this time of distance learning. Everyone seems to have their favorite video conferencing tool, me included. My suggestion to everyone is to find what works best for you and learn it well.


Fortunately/unfortunately, many of us do not have a choice but to use certain tools, and it seems like many school districts are already G-Suite users, so many are forced into using all things Google. Although Google doesn't always seem to have all of the bells and whistles that are built into products such as Zoom, they do have these great things called extensions, which are basically "add-on" features or tools. Some are made by 3rd parties and others are made by Google. So, guess what!?! Google has an extension called "Remote Desktop" and it allows you to give control of your Chrome browser to someone else. This is MOUSE CONTROL! It can be a lengthy process, but Ed Tech guru Eric Curts, posted a fantastic workaround for just pasting a link in the Google Meet chat, which makes it super easy for students to do.


First, watch my video or Eric's so that you can see and comprehend how it works.

Next, follow these steps to get started:
  • Get up and do a little happy dance. This is what you've been desperately wanting, even if you didn't know it!

  • Once in the Chrome Web Store click "Add to Chrome" and follow the prompts.


  • Once you're back on the Remote Desktop webpage you should now see the extension in your web browsing bar. You can click on that extension and it will take you directly to the Remote Desktop webpage rather than typing in the web address each time (http://remotedesktop.google.com/support/)


  • Select "Generate Code" in the Support section


  • You will have 5 minutes to copy this code and get it to the student before it expires. Use the copy button to copy the code to your clipboard.


  • Navigate back to the Google Meet tab in your web browser. Click on the chat window.

  • In the Chat window type in: (Ctrl V will paste the code into the web address that you type into the chat window)

http://remotedesktop.google.com/support/session/<paste in the code>


  • The student will then click on the link after you send it. A window will pop up after the student clicks on the link asking for permission to give the student access to your computer. You will need to approve or deny the student that is asking for permission.


  • The bottom of the screen will have a button that you click on to "Stop sharing" access to your computer. You can click on this button at any time to end the session.


TIPS:
  • You will need to use the Chrome web browser. You can download the Chrome web browser in many platforms including: Windows, Mac, and it comes installed on a Chromebook. It will note work if the student is using a tablet or a phone.

I would highly recommend using a few other extensions if you are giving remote control to a student.

  • "Custom Cursor" extension. This will allow you to add a larger mouse arrow or fun character. It is much easier to see what the student is clicking on with a unique cursor.

  • A windows resizing extension to easily resize your Google Meet window with the content you are working on such as Google Slides or Google Docs. This will allow you to resize windows quickly and with minimal effort. Dualless or Tab Resize and are two extensions that work well. NOTE: if you have dual monitors I would recommend NOT using them during the session. Even if you move your Google Meet to a second window the student will not be able to see you as they would be seeing the Slides/Doc that is taking up your window. If you "Share your entire Screen" that will allow you to resize the Google Meet window and the content window as the student would see your entire screen rather than just the browser or tab you're working in. Also, if you have a second monitor connected the student will have to select the monitor when they first get on your computer, which is complicated for younger students. For me, it's easier to just disconnect my second monitor and only work off of one screen when I'm giving remote access to a student.


Twelve IDEAS for using remote access:

Here are a few ways you could use this tool to work with students:

  1. Google Doc: Edit a document together if you're revising some writing.

  2. Google Doc: Read a document together-have the student follow along using the mouse so that you can see where they are reading or have them point to words they are having difficulty reading.

  3. Jamboard: Use this whiteboard to solve a math problem. The student can show their work and you can correct.

  4. Jamboard: Take a picture of a worksheet and insert the picture into Jamboard. Have the student use the pen tool to annotate over the image to complete the worksheet. Check out my Jamboard blog post for a "how to" video.

  5. Google Slides: Create an interactive slide such as the Math game demonstrated in the video, have a student label a diagram by clicking and dragging the words to the correct place, or create a game board and move the pieces while doing some drill and practice. Have the student manipulate items on the slide. Check out Sarah Gregory's YouTube video on how to create interactive slides.

  6. Google Classroom: If you are doing some initial training for distance learning and teaching students and parents how to navigate and use Google Classroom, you can show them where things are and have them practice turning homework in or finding where are assignments are. If they cannot find something you can take over mouse control and demonstrate it for them. This is especially helpful to "teach the tool." NOTE: You could do this for any web based tool. If a student was having trouble with a "tool" in SeeSaw or another learning platform you can walk them through how to use the tool and give them time to practice on your screen.

  7. Read a book together. Use your favorite online book tool such as Epic, and read the story aloud. Have the student use the mouse to point to pictures to show comprehension of the text.

  8. Book Creator: Go to the book creator website and create a "book" or content with the student.

  9. Tar Heel Shared reader: Engage in shared reading with the student. Model core vocabulary using the core words bar at the bottom. The student can also interact using the vocabulary bar if they do not have a communication system.

  10. Website: Go to any interactive website and have the student use mouse control to interact with the content. (BrainPop, BookFlix, PebbleGo, DiscoveryEd, Tumblebooks, Newsela, Origo Math, ABCya)

  11. Students with Complex Communication Needs. Bring up a web based cloud communication app and have the student use their mouse to communicate. You can take over mouse control to model communication. CoughDrop is a great cloud-based communication app.

  12. If you're doing a web based Math or Reading intervention, such as ReadNaturally, log into the student's account and have them use the mouse to complete the intervention. You will be able to see how they are doing in real time.


If you have a great idea for how to use remote desktop, please share!


Happy interacting!


Jennifer

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