Collaboration and Canvas (Google Drive, Youtube Live, Canvas Events)

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In this playlist of 4 videos is a demonstration of how to use Google Drawings or Slides as an interactive whiteboard; Youtube Live and Hangouts on Air for video conferencing; and embedding it all to create a live online collaborative workspace in Canvas.

  1. Set up a folder for the collaborative activity and create Google Drawing and Slide files to briefly look at their features.
  2. Set up a Youtube Live Event for video conferencing around the Drawing or Slides, then embed that Youtube Live Event into a Canvas Calendar Event.
  3. Starting the Youtube Live Event with Hangouts on Air, and managing the Hangout including sharing screen to get the whiteboard feature.
  4. Bring it all together as one live online collaborative workspace in Canvas

1. Setting up Google Drawing and Slides for collaborative activity

You can use Google Drawings like a whiteboard. Collaborators can watch or contribute to the drawing in real time. Google Slides has most of the features of Google Drawing, so you could also use a blank slide in Google Slides as a white board.


Just bare in mind that it’s best to create your documents in Google outside your RMIT account first, and then share them with your RMIT account for editing. This is to avoid the restrictions on your RMIT account that can impact on the collaboration aspects of the service, by ensuring that a non-RMIT account ‘owns’ the document.

2. Set up the Youtube Live video conference

After setting up your collaboration documents in Google Drive, we used Google Drawing or a blank slide in Google Slides to serve as a whiteboard, next you need to set up the Youtube Live Event for video conferencing.

  1. Log in to Youtube, and enter the Creator Studio
  2. Click the drop down arrow under Live Stream, and click Events
    Create a new event for each session you plan to hold, and fill in the details
  3. Open each event and click the Share icon to copy the link or embed code for scheduled video stream in Canvas
  4. In Canvas, I created a Calendar event for the video conference. Making sure the event is going into the right Course calendar, click More Options.
    1. In More Options you have a standard Canvas content editor.
    2. Click HTML view and paste the embed code.
    3. Returning the to the visual editor you can add all the information that you think is necessary, such as link for joining the Hangout session instead of just watching it.
    4. You might like to add Canvas Pages to the event.
    5. Do this for each session you have planned.

3. Managing the Hangout on Air for a collaborative session with whiteboard

NOTE: I made a mistake with my screen recorder causing me to think I was sharing the Google Drawing for a minute, when I wasn’t.

  1. After creating the Youtube Live Event, come the time for the event you launch the Live event and Hangouts on Air opens.
  2. After the Hangout on Air has loaded, you will see a green button for ‘Start Broadcast’. Once this is clicked, people will be able to see your Hangout in the Youtube Live stream.
  3. Now you might want to invite people into the Hangout on Air, so that those watching the stream can see and hear them.
    Copy the URL address for the Hangout and send it to the people you would like to come to the stage.
  4. To show the collaborative whiteboard (Google Drawing or Slides) in the Live stream Hangout, you click the green icon in the Hangout left for ‘Share Screen’.

4. Rounding it all up into Canvas

In this video I round it all up in Canvas, using the embed code for both the Youtube Live video stream, and the Google Drawing interactive whiteboard.

  1. After creating the Event in Youtube Live, open the event and click the Share icon to get the embed code for the video stream.
  2. In Canvas Calendar, create an Event and check you’re creating it in the correct course. Then click more options to get the Canvas content editor features for the event page.
  3. Click HTML editor and paste the Youtube embed code.
  4. To embed your Google Drawing edit document as well, paste the Youtube embed code again, you’re going to replace the URL for the video with the URL for your Drawing, but first you want to change the settings on your Drawing so that anyone who sees it in Canvas can edit it as well.
  5. Open your Google Drawing and click Share. Under “Who has Access” you see a setting that reads, “Anyone with a Llink can…” and you need to change that setting to “Edit”. Then copy the link for the document.
  6. Returning to your Canvas Event, replace the URL for the video in the second instance of the Youtube embed code with the URL for the Drawing. You might like to change the width and height of the embed display as well. I use width=”100%” height=”600″
  7. Finally, because the Canvas Event pop up is a small window when used on a desktop, you might not like the size of your embedded content. Replacing your embed codes with a link to a new Page in Canvas, and pasting those embed codes on that new page instead. That way the Calendar alert will go out with simple text and a link to the page, and when the link is clicked the embedded content will display in a full page.
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