Online Learning Tech Help

I. Setup tips
II. How to access (scroll down)
III. Help for problems (scroll way down)

It’s easy to setup your end for online learning. It usually just works. However, follow these guidelines for the best experience.

I. Suggested setup tips


  • Computer with camera, microphone, and internet.

  • Smartphone or tablet setup to receive emails for the access links.

Get a Google account
A Google account and a gmail login is recommended but not required to participate in hangouts. If you have a gmail account, please send us your gmail address to replace the one we currently use to send access links.

Prepare your browser – The Google Hangouts platform I use, works best with the Google Chrome browser. You can download it here:
Other browsers: If you’d rather not use Chrome, install the latest version of the Google Hangouts browser plugin before you connect here:

Check your connection –  Streaming video is very demanding on your Internet connection. If you are on Wifi, the closer you are to the router, the better. A direct Ethernet connection is usually more reliable than Wifi.

Reduce demand – Encourage those around you who are on the same connection to take a break from the internet or, at least, refrain from downloading large files or streaming video (this includes Netflix and Xbox Live) during the duration of the lesson.

Close unnecessary programs – Close down all software, apps and browser tabs on your device, except what you need to view the lesson. This includes online storage programs that sync in the background such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Watch a video about how to setup your end for online learning.

II. How to access

a. Active Participants (preferred)

  • To be an active participant, you will need a Google account.

  • The platform is Google Hangouts, which works best on the Google Chrome browser. Other browsers require a plug-in.

  • A Hangouts app is available for smartphones and tablets but you don’t really need it. However, like a computer, the Chrome Browser is suggested.

  • I’ll send you an invite to the hangout 15 – 30 minutes before the lesson.

  • You need a strong internet connection and a camera enabled device. Here are the system requirements if you want to get all technical but it usually just works for most people.

  • Active participants should position their device diagonally off to the side to show both face and hands.

  • Headphones are recommended.

I promise not to put you on the spot or embarrass you in any way. If you have questions about something I ask you to do, you can bet that other viewers are wondering the same thing.

b. Passive Viewers (..but it’s much better to attend live…)

  • Use the passive link to watch only. You will see me and active students but we won’t see or hear you.

  • If you want to comment and be part of the instruction on YouTube while watching a live class, you need a Gmail account. To chat with other passive viewers, you’ll need a Google account. Note that only passive viewers can see your chat comments. Active participants do not.


Tip: After connecting, practice muting and unmuting yourself. Look for a microphone icon. Depending on your device, it may be hidden so wiggle your mouse or tap around the screen to reveal it.

Icon is white when un-muted; red when muted.

Icon is white when un-muted; red when muted.

III. If you experience problems:

On a computer: 
1. Open an incognito or private window and paste in the access link.
On the recommended Chrome browser, it is under File in upper left corner.
2. Clear the cache and cookies.
On the recommended Chrome browser, go to Settings (3 vertical dots in upper right corner)>Advanced (bottom of page)>Privacy and security>Clear browsing data

On smartphone or tablet
1. Delete and reinstall the optional Hangouts app.

OR if you don't not use the Hangouts app:
A. Clear the browser cache, For Safari:

  1. Open Settings

  2. Scroll down to Safari

  3. Select Clear History and Website Data

B. For Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app

  2. Go to Options > Settings

  3. Tap Privacy

  4. Select the browsing data you want to delete (cookies, history, cached images and files) and tap Clear Browsing Data

Keep in mind that what we are doing is cutting edge technology involving a range of systems from local internet providers to Google's servers. Local internet providers can have problems during updates or even when it’s raining or snowing really hard. Problems just happen sometimes.