New safety and engagement Google Meet features to enhance virtual classesSyah Ismail
Since last year, video conferencing has become an essential tool for teaching, learning and staying connected. To expand learning for everyone, Google is bringing new features to Meet to help educators keep virtual classes secure and students engaged.
Keeping virtual classes safe
In the coming months, teachers will soon have the option to end meetings for everyone on the call, preventing students from staying on after the teacher has left including in breakout rooms.
Getting everyone’s attention when class is deep in discussion can be tough, so teachers will have an easy way to mute all participants at once. Rolling out over the next few weeks, “mute all” will help educators keep class on track. Since sometimes it’s important to teach without interruption, launching soon, meeting hosts will be able to control when students can unmute themselves.
Soon, educators using tablets or mobile phones to teach will also have access to key moderation controls, like who can join their meetings or use the chat or share their screen, directly from their iOS or Android devices.
For many teachers, Google Classroom is an essential tool for managing class. Later this year, Classroom and Meet will work together even better, so every meeting created from Classroom is even safer by default. When meetings are generated from Classroom, students won’t be able to join before the teacher. Meet will also know who’s on the Classroom roster, so only students and teachers in the class will be able to join. Every teacher in Classroom will be a meeting host by default, so if there are multiple teachers, they’ll be able to share the load of managing the class. Meetings that aren’t started from Classroom will also support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class.
Control for admins
In a few months, Google will be launching new settings in the Admin console so school leaders can set policies for who can join their school’s video calls and whether people from their school can join video calls from other schools. This will make it easier to facilitate things like student-to-student connections across districts, professional development opportunities for educators and external speakers visiting a class.
The Google Meet audit log is also now available in the Admin console. Google will be adding more information to these logs like an external participant’s email address so admins can better understand how people are using Meet at their school. For educators with Education Standard or Education Plus licenses, Google is also making improvements to the investigation tool. Admins can now access Meet logs in the investigation tool, so they can identify, triage and take action on security and privacy issues. Admins will be able to end any meeting within their school from the investigation tool as well.
Engagement in Meet
Coming soon, students will be able to more easily engage and express themselves with emoji reactions in Meet. They’ll be able to pick emoji skin tones to best represent them and react in class in a lightweight, non-disruptive way. Teachers and admins will have full control over when reactions can be used.
Because unreliable internet connections can make remote teaching and learning more challenging, Google is also improving Meet to work better if you have low bandwidth. Rolling out soon, this can help keep class on track when internet connections are weaker.
Google is also making additional improvements for educators with Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus licenses. Releasing over the next few months, educators will be able to set up breakout rooms ahead of time in Google Calendar. This will make it easier for teachers to prepare for differentiated learning, be thoughtful about group dynamics and avoid losing valuable time setting up breakout rooms during class.
And to help students who weren’t able to attend class stay up to date, later this year educators will be able to receive meeting transcripts. They’ll be able to easily share transcripts with students, review what was discussed during class or maintain a record for future reference.
Whether by expanding professional development opportunities, live-streaming events or facilitating live-translated parent-teacher conferences, Meet can help your community stay connected.