Showing posts with label Virtual Backgrounds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virtual Backgrounds. Show all posts

Friday, June 11, 2021

More Virtual Background Options in Google Meet

Last fall Google added options for blurring your background in Google Meet and using your own pictures as backgrounds in Google Meet. This week another background option was added to Google Meet. 

You can now use videos as virtual backgrounds in Google Meet. Right now the options are limited to just videos provided by Google. Hopefully, more options including uploading your own videos will be added in the future. The current video background options provided by Google are "classroom," "party," and "forest."

Applications for Education
This update isn't going to change the way that any of us use Google Meet for online instruction. That said, it is nice to have an option to break-up the routine of Google Meet meetings with a fun background choice. In the future, if Google allows us to upload our own videos to use as backgrounds we could us those videos in a virtual green screen environment in which the video plays behind us while we talk about what's displayed. I'm picturing that working much like the animated green screen backgrounds used by television meteorologists on morning news shows.

For those who haven't tried virtual backgrounds or blurred backgrounds in Google Meet, in the video below I demonstrate how to use both of those features.


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image taken by Richard Byrne at Norway Lake in Norway, Maine. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Use a Zoom Virtual Background for Lesson Outlines

One of the many challenges of teaching in a hybrid classroom setting this fall is giving the kids who are attending virtually a similar experience to those who are attending class in-person. To that end, one of the things that I'm trying this week is using virtual background in Zoom that lists the bullet points for the day. I have three or four bullet points for the day written on my whiteboard in class every day. I do this as a way to let kids know what the goals and big points for day are. I'm now trying to remember to do the same in Zoom with virtual background for the kids who are joining virtually for the day. 

There are other uses for virtual backgrounds in Zoom besides my bullet point idea. If you're teaching from home, you might just want to hide or improve the background. If you've positioned your webcam/ laptop in your classroom in such a way that the background includes other students, you might want to use virtual background to hide them. Or you might simply want to use a virtual background as a means to inspire curiosity. If I was still teaching social studies instead of computer science, I'd be tempted to use pictures of UNESCO World Heritage sites in my Zoom virtual backgrounds. 

If you've never tried using a Zoom virtual background, watch this short video in which I explain how to use a virtual background and share some good places to find virtual background images.