One of the more powerful kickbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic was the abrupt and unexpected transition to working from home for millions of us. Solutions to various work-from-home related conundrums began to emerge in a matter of days even because the level of urgency was so unprecedented. Initially, it seemed like Zoom would emerge as a resounding victor as organizations began using this video calling app as their daily driver for office meetings and team catch-ups. But when major, alarming security issues began cropping up it became clear that Zoom had bitten off way more than it could chew.
So when we began seeing Google Meet whenever we logged into our G-suite accounts, it was only a matter of time before Google integrated this secure, smart, and still-in-the-works video calling feature to all its other major holdings as well, Google Classroom being no exception.
What is Google Meet?
Google’s video-conferencing application that’s meant to operate on an enterprise level with a hundred or so participants, Meet comes with some advanced features that enable it to be a reliable and trust-worthy video-calling solution for enterprises, schools, and other organizations. You can access meet through your browser, schedule a Meet on your calendar, and conduct sessions reliably as long as you have a trusty web came.
Meet has been integrated into all major G-suite applications for convenience and of course, because only Google can. But the convenience factor is definitely something that teachers either already are or looking forward to taking advantage of as part of their Google Classroom experience. Let’s delve into the workings of this application and see how best teachers can use it as part of their teaching process.
How to access Google Meet
Before we delve into any of our tutorials, it’s important to know how to access Google Meet.
If you’re using a desktop/laptop, then you can access Google Meet from your web browser itself. Simply visit apps.google.com/meet/ (or meet.google.com) and sign in to your Google Account from here. You will then be able to start and create Google Meet meetings.
Alternatively, you can also access meet from your Gmail account. Simply log in to your Gmail and you will see the Meet section towards the lower-left side.
What can teachers do with Google Meet?
Of course, nothing Google does is basic. In fact, we are quite fond of them for the thoughtful little things that end up generating big benefits. For a teacher, Meet will undoubtedly be that small thing that manages to have a big impact. Let’s dive into some of these benefits first.
Live classes, both big and small
Entire schools can assemble together virtually on one Meet link should you choose to make it happen. As a G Suite administrator, you can turn on live streaming to allow up to 100,000 people to watch a Google Meet video meeting. When live streaming is added to an event, users get a stream URL that they can send to view-only participants. All it takes is a live stream link and active internet.
For teachers seeking something interactive, they can organize their club meetings or even grade meetings as long as they manage to keep the participation to a hundred students. Of course, we cannot ignore the convenience of the video calling app in its ability to allow teachers to take live lessons, so there’s always that as well.
Record live lessons for later
Meet comes with a Record option which really comes in handy when you’re taking live lessons. You can activate the record option at the beginning of the lesson and Meet will begin recording after taking appropriate permissions and everything. Once the lesson is over, you will receive a media file in the form of a Google Drive link which you can then choose to share with your class.
Accept student questions
There is a chatbox that comes as part of the Google Meet interface that really comes in handy to record the questions asked by students. You can even set your meet in presenter view to focus on each question given in the chat and choose to address them accordingly.
Make presentations in presenter view
There is also a Present Now button that’s wedged in between the Turn on captions and the three-dot menu icon that you can use to project your screen to your class.
For everything else to happen, the link must be generated and ready in hand. The link is basically a unique code for your meeting that you will be able to share with those whom you want to invite to the Google Meet Conference call. So you need to understand how to generate this link. Don’t worry, it’s fairly easy.
Only teachers of Public and Private schools that have transitioned to Google Classroom and are using the paid services will be able to use Google Classroom to create a Meet link. We recommend that teachers without a G-Suite account follow the tutorial that follows.
First, go to your Google Classroom dashboard and select the Class for which you want to generate a Google Meet link.
Next, go the Settings of the Classroom by clicking the Settings icon on the top-right.
Under General, you will see the settings for Google Meet, here, click on the Generate Meet link button.
Copy the Meet link that you see and share it with your students. The settings can also be configured to ensure that the Meet link is always visible to your students since that will be the assigned link for that specific classroom.
Unlike teachers who are using G-suite accounts that have been integrated with Google Meet as part of their Classroom Settings, teachers who are using their personal accounts will have to use the more generic and widely-known route. Here’s what you need to do.
First, go to the Google meet website from your browser. Here you will see a New Meeting button, click on it.
Here, you will see an option to get a Google Meet link, click on it.
Copy the link from the window that pops up. This link can be made a part of posts and shared however you want.
There are your regular, go-to links that are the part and parcel of your regular classroom routine and then there are Meets for special occasions, be it a Parent-Teacher meeting or a special assembly that is supposed to happen on a very specific date and time. This is where Google Calendar comes in. Instead of floundering about at the very last minute, you can set the time, date, and premise well in advance and avoid any stumbles and mishaps. Here’s what you need to do.
Open Google Calendar on your browser. If you’re someone who is used to accessing the Calendar from Google’s app drawer then feel free to do that. The ones who are choosing to go with the website link will need to Sign In to access their Google Calendar. Make sure that you’re using the same account that you’re using for your Google Classroom as well.
In your Calendar, you will see the calendar for all the Google Classes on the lower-left of the screen. Select a specific classroom’s calendar that you want to schedule the meet for.
Now go to the date on the Calendar itself to mark the time and event. When you click on the Date, Calendar will prompt you to fill all the details and this is the point where you need to add the Google Meet link for conferencing.
Once you do, make sure that you save the event. Google will automatically inform all the people that you’ve added to the event about it along with the Google Meet link.
Great! Now that you are more or less aware of the mechanics of it, you can explore how else the link will become a teaching aid.
Google Classroom’s Stream is a thriving location to make all and any kind of announcements whether it’s to inform or remind your students about a Meet they mustn’t miss. Here’s how it goes.
Copy the Meet link using the tutorial we shared above, then go to the Stream page of the class that you want to announce to. Enter your announcement and then click on Link from the Add section.
Once you’ve pasted the link, post it.
It’s possible to attach the Meet link to your assignments as well. Here’s how:
Make sure that you have the freshly copied Meet link on hand, then go to the Classwork page and click on Create.
Now, choose either Assignment or Question.
Fill in the description and then choose Link after clicking on the Add button.
Once you’re done with the post, you can Assign it.
- Reset the Google Meet link each time you want to meet with students, this way the older Meet links will not be used unsupervised. You can reset the link for each class from the General Settings of the class.
- If internet speed is slow, turn off your camera to improve video meeting quality. If audio quality is poor, you can use a phone for audio, simply make sure that you have the Meet app on your phone as well.
- To help students who are deaf or hard of hearing, you can turn on captions using the button of the same name that you will be able to locate easily during the call.
- Take virtual attendance of your video lessons with this the Chrome Meet Attendance extension. It adds a section in the upper right of the Meet screen just above the list of class participants. When you click to turn on the horizontal switch, it will record who is present on a time-stamped Google Sheets document.
- Use these great Chrome Extensions to enhance your Google Meet experience. For example, using Dualless extension, you can use two windows on your meeting as if you had dual monitors for real.
That’s all for now. We hope this tutorial proves to be useful in aiding your process. Do let us know your queries and doubts in the comments. Take care and stay safe!