Articles tagged "Google Meet"

Weekly post #17 – Google Sites, Earth, Meet and the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation

Four things to check out

Customize text style and appearance in Google Sites

Those of you using Google Sites can now adjust text size, color, font, spacing, and more while typing in a text box. This significantly expands control over how individual words, paragraphs, pages, and sections look.

In 2021, Google will add the ability to create themes, which will allow users to easily set fonts, colors, and styles across your whole site.

Read more here → Customize text style and appearance in Google Sites

Google Earth in the Classroom

Worth 7 minutes of anybody's time! Google Earth doesn't just have to live in the Individuals and Societies classrooms. Any teacher who is interested in integrating Google Earth (or Maps) into their lessons - please get in contact!

Google Arts & Culture - The First Journey Around The World

Google Arts & Culture, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Spanish National Commission of the First World Tour have released a new project →  “The First Journey around the World” which explores the details of the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation.

In 1519, an expedition commanded by Ferdinand Magellan set sail from the port of Seville, Spain. The approximately 245 crew members aboard the five ships went in search of a new western route to the Maluku Islands (formerly the Moluccas or Spice Islands) in Indonesia. The voyage ended three years later, with the return of a single ship captained by Juan Sebastián Elcano. He and the 17 survivors became the first people to circumnavigate the globe in a single expedition.

You can dive into historical documents and maps, see where the expedition made landfall, take a virtual tour of a replica of the Nao Victoria, the only ship that returned to Seville, or discover the spices of animals encountered during the expedition.

The First Journey Around the World” is available to everyone through the Google Arts & Culture site and via its iOS and Android apps.

Some Google Meet settings are now “sticky”

Google Meet

Google has changing the behavior of some Google Meet settings for G Suite for Education and Enterprise for Education customers. Specifically, certain settings are now “sticky.” This means that if you turn them on or off during a meeting, they will be saved for any future meetings that use the same meeting code.

This change will apply to these settings:

  • Quick access
  • Prevent students from sharing their screen
  • Prevent students from sending chat messages

Read more here → Some Google Meet settings now “sticky” for Education users

Weekly post #15 - Raise your hand, Read&Write, timers and that new look your Gmail has!

Four things to check out

Read&Write for Google Chrome - A how to guide for students

This week it has been great to see a teacher using Read&Write with a whole class. They were using the highlight tool and then the 'Collect and Clear Highlights' feature to extract the highlighted text into a new Google Document.

Here is a handy how-to guide to get students up and running with the most popular features in Read&Write for Google.

Timer/countdown in Meet Breakdown Rooms

Google Meet breakout Room Timer

You can now set up a timer for a breakout session. Participants will see a banner to keep track of how much more time they have in the breakout room. They’ll also be alerted when there are 30 seconds left so that they can wrap up the discussion and, when time is up, participants will be prompted to go back to the main call.

Virtually raise your hand to ask a question in Meet

Moderator view of raised hands

You can now 'virtually' raise your hand in Google Meet. To raise your hand, click on the “Raise Hand” button on the bottom bar. Once the button is pressed, it will change to a “Lower Hand” button, which can be clicked to lower your hand.

When a participant raises their hand, the meeting’s moderator will see a hand icon in their video preview. If the moderator is presenting in another tab, they’ll get a sound notification when someone raises their hand. The moderator will also be able to see all raised hands in the order they were raised in the meeting participant list panel to help them address questions accordingly. The moderator can lower a specific person’s hand or lower all hands.

Read more here → Virtually raise your hand to ask a question in Google Meet

An integrated workspace

It would seem that it has arrived... an integrated workspace experience that brings Chat, Meet, and Gmail together on desktop and mobile.

Gmail across web and mobile now feature fours distinct components:

  • Mail, which has not changed and is the same Gmail experience you know.
  • Chat, which allows users to message individuals and small groups directly.
  • Rooms, which are spaces that include shared chat, files, and tasks to help groups more easily work on projects.
  • Meet, which features upcoming meetings that you can view and join.

Read more here → Introducing your new home for work in G Suite

Making the most of our digital tools (with half an eye on a return to remote learning)

Google Meet - ‘Set up’
Bookmark your Meet linkBookmark the URL of your Meet (the one that is shared via the Google Meet links for PTC & home-based teaching/learning_August 2020 document).

Ensuring that your Bookmark Bar is visible can make life a little easier.
Create, view & edit bookmarks
Blurring or changing your backgroundYou can do this before you join a Meet using the icon in the bottom right hand corner of the preview window.

You can also change it from within a Meet. Go to the three dots in the bottom right hand corner of the screen →

Change background.
It will work better if there is a large contrast between you and your background.
Change your background in Google Meet
To see what your webcam is sharing as part of the Tiled layoutMove your cursor to the small preview of your webcam output in the top right hand corner of the screen → click on the button that looks like four squares with one shaded in to add your webcam to the tiled display.

You can only do this once somebody has joined the Meet.
Google Meet Crib SheetClick here for a useful crib sheet about how to split your screen etc.

The crib sheet was created using LucidPress. All staff and students have access to LucidPress accounts.

Google Meet - ‘Control’
LayoutClick on the three dots in the bottom right hand corner of the screen → Change layout → Tiled → Set the maximum tiles to display as high as you want.

This needs to be redone for every meeting and seems to default to 16.
How to view people in Google Meet
Host ControlsQuick access - when off -,all participants from inside and outside of your domain must ask to join the meeting.

Share their screen - when off - only you, the meeting organizer, can share your screen.

Send chat messages - this setting allows participants to read but not send chat messages.

Solution for PTCs to stop colleagues (who are parents) entering a discussion with another parent - turn off ‘Quick access’ → “All virtual classrooms should be conducted on Meets via links shared with senior leaders so that virtual classrooms are as freely accessible as physical classrooms.” 5.5.6 - Safeguarding and child protection policy.
Manage participants in a video meeting
AttendancePotentially still currently in the ‘roll-out’ phase.

The meeting host will receive a Google Sheets spreadsheet of attendance (name, email, join time, exit time) as long as there are 5 or more participants.
Track attendance in Google Meet
Accept 'knocks' in bulkPotentially still currently  in the ‘roll-out’ phase.

You can now accept all pending ‘knocks’ in bulk.
Add or remove people from a Google Meet video call
RecordingIf for any reason a Meet is recorded to support teaching, this can only be done by the teacher and the consent of all those involved should be sought prior to the recording beginning. The recording will be stored in the ‘Drive’ of the member of staff.” 5.5.6 - Safeguarding and child protection policy.Record a video meeting

Google Meet - ‘Engagement’
Breakout roomsClick Activities → Breakout rooms.

In the Breakout rooms panel, choose the number of breakout rooms (max 100).

Call participants will then be randomly and equally distributed across the rooms.
You can manually move people around.
Use breakout rooms in Google Meet
PollsClick Activities → Polls → Start a poll.

Enter a question and add options for the poll.

Then either Launch the poll or Save it for later.

After a meeting, the moderator is emailed a report for any polls conducted in the meeting. The report includes the names and answers of the meeting participants.
Conduct polls in Google Meet
Q&AClick Activities → Q&A → Turn on Q&A.

In the lower-right corner, click Ask a question.

The moderator can delete, hide or mark a question as answered.

All meeting participants can upvote a question.
Ask participants questions in Google Meet
So... what would you use the chat function for?I use it regularly to share links to documents, resources, video clips etc.Send chat messages to video call participants
JamboardIn the video call at the bottom right, click More options (the three dots) → Whiteboard.

Either ‘Start a new whiteboard’ or ‘Choose from Drive’ (for one you have prepared.

If you're a G Suite for Education user, participants are given view-only access by default. You'll need to grant them edit access to the Jamboard.
Use a whiteboard in Google Meet
Best practice for presenting/sharing a video during a MeetCan the students be shared a link, asked to leave the Meet and watch the video, before returning for discussion etc?

Present now → A Tab.

The Campus des Nations Digital Toolbox

PadletGreat online collaborative space for brainstorming, responding to questions, reorganising items.

All staff have access to a Padlet Pro account. → Log in → Log in with Google → use your account.

Students do not need Padlet accounts to use your Padlets.
ScreencastifyScreen recorder for Chrome.

All accounts have access to ‘full subscriptions’.

Record your screen as you explain a concept (or similar) while recording your voice. A useful tool when ‘flipping the classroom’.
KahootThe school has 36 Premium+ accounts - of which 28 are in use - 8 subscriptions have still not been activated - so please contact me if you would like to take advantage of these.

Interesting developments away from just being an online quiz platform - new ‘study tools’ on the smartphone apps have a part to play in ‘active recall’ revision approaches.
SoundtrapAll students in Y7 to Y11 have soundtrap accounts which gives them an online platform with which they can record and layer ‘tracks’ - which can be audio or music.

Already being successfully used in the Arts, Enrichment and by Individuals and Societies.

Weekly post #13 - accepting 'knocks', Office editing mode, the Kahoot app and linking to a text fragment

Four things to check out

Accept 'knocks' in bulk

Accept 'knocks' in bulk

You can now accept all pending 'knocks' in bulk into your Google Meet. Admitting students all at once helps limit interruptions during the video call.

Read more here → Accept knocks in bulk in Google Meet

Editing Office files from your Drive

Google have changing the default editing mode for Microsoft Office files in Google Drive on the web. Now, when you double-click on an Office file, it will open directly in Office editing mode.

Read more about 'Office editing mode' here.

New study modes in the Kahoot app

Study modes in the Kahoot app for iOS and Android a brings a new, self-paced study experience to learners with four different ways to review content, get more practice with difficult topics and prepare for tests. These modes can be used with both previously played kahoots as well as new kahoots.

Read more here → Study with Kahoot!: New modes in the Kahoot! app empower learners to self-study

Linking to a text fragment

This rather useful Chrome extension allows for easily creating a special link to the currently selected text on a page via the context (right-click) menu. When opening such a special link, the browser will scroll the selected text into view and highlight it.

Install the Chrome extension from here → Link to Text Fragment

Approaching 'hybrid' teaching in your classroom

Hybrid → something that has two different types of components performing essentially the same function.

A useful understanding about the capabilities of laptops and their microphones → the microphones on laptops are not designed to pick up people roaming around in space. They are designed to work best with somebody sitting in front of the screen working at the keyboard. Therefore it is best practice to ensure that the laptop screen is pointing at you when you are speaking. The devices are quite good at picking up your audio from further than arm length - but if you are behind the screen it will struggle.

The 'hybrid' situation → you have most of your class in front of you, in the classroom, but also students joining you from home.The students at home are well enough to meaningfully participate in the learning.

Recommended approach

  1. Turn on your interactive screen - if you intend to project anything during the lesson.
  1. Connect your laptop to the dock with the provided cable. This connects your laptop to the interactive screen (and provides a cabled connection to the internet and power). These cables are in the process of being replaced with ones that are two meters in length (double the default length) to give the next steps some additional flexibility.
  1. Point your school laptop at the position where you will be teaching most of the lesson from. In these Covid times - that is probably going to be the 'teacher's box' for a majority of the lesson. Using the extra cable length you should be able to position the laptop at the far end of the teacher desk to give the best possible view of the teacher/front of the classroom. It may be necessary to move a little bit of classroom furniture to facilitate this.
Laptop at the end of the teacher’s desk pointing at where the teacher intends to be for a majority of the lesson.
  1. Use your laptop’s camera to stream the lesson. Using your laptop, rather than using the device of a student, means that only you should be visible in the Meet with the students working from home.
  1. Go to your Google Meet address and start the Meet - allow in any students that need to join from home. It is recommended to ask the students at home to turn on their webcams - at least for the first part of the lesson - as a welfare check.
  1. If you are presenting anything onto the interactive screen - such as an online resource, Google Slides or similar - present them to the Google Meet. I would suggest using the Present now → ‘A Chrome tab' option. Switching which tab is being shared into the Meet can be done via the option at the top of the currently shared tab.
  1. If you are planning to draw upon the interactive screen, or the whiteboards, seriously consider using Google Jamboard as this can be shared with the students at home. You can read more about Jamboard here.
  1. The students at home should be reminded about how you wish them to ask questions during the lesson. They could use the chat function or they could turn on their microphones and ask.

Weekly post #12 - using (most of) what G Suite Enterprise for Education has to offer

Four things to check out

All teaching staff now have (continued) use of G Suite Enterprise for Education. The main tools that this service offers you are to be found in Google Meet - and this post will explore the four main tools below.

Beyond breakout rooms, polls, Q&A and automatic attendance registers - you can lead larger meetings (up to 250 participants), you can live streaming to 100,000 in-domain ( viewers and you can record meetings that you lead.

You should not be recording meetings without good reason and the permission of all those involved in the meeting.

Breakout rooms

You, as a Meet organizer with a Enterprise for Education account, can use breakout rooms to divide participants into smaller groups during video calls in Meet. You can also jump between breakout rooms to monitor and participate in discussions.

While only event creators (you with your Enterprise for Education account) can create breakout rooms, anyone with a Google account that is joining from the web or through the Meet app can be a participant.

Read more here → Use breakout rooms in Google Meet


With polls in Meet, you can set up multiple questions, viewable to only you, and launch the poll when it’s timely during the online lesson or meeting.

Once a poll is closed, you will receive a report with the tally of the results to make it easy to refer back to. You can then share the results of the poll so that participants can see a summarized bar chart. You will also automatically receive an email containing an export of the poll data in Google Sheets.

Read more here → Conduct polls in Google Meet


Probably more structured than using the Chat function - participants can submit and upvote their favorite questions without disrupting the flow of a Meet. Q&A needs to be turned on by the teacher, for each lesson, as it is disabled by default. Participants can ask questions and interact with other participants’ questions by upvoting. When the meeting ends, hosts will automatically receive an email containing an export of all submitted questions, so they can follow up on unanswered questions.

Read more here → Ask participants questions in Google Meet

Attendance tracking

I am not 100% that this feature has fully rolled out to International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations staff yet... first person to send me an attendance CSV report gets a prize!

After a video call with at least 5 participants, you as the meeting organizer will receive an email with an attached attendance CSV report with the following info:

  • Participant’s name
  • Participant’s email
  • Length of time participant was in the Meet, including timestamps of when they first joined and when they left the call. If someone joins and leaves the call more than once, multiple timestamps won’t be listed, but their overall call duration will be included.

Weekly post #11 - ⌘/Ctrl + D, default video playback option in Google Slides and how are your students dealing with their email inboxes?

Four things to check out

Google Meet keyboard shortcuts

If you are ever wondering about the keyboard shortcuts for a Google Workspace (aka G Suite) application - try opening the application and pressing '?'.

The most useful keyboard shortcut in Google Meet is probably → ⌘/Ctrl + d which mutes and unmutes the microphone.

Read more here → Google Workspace Learning Center - Use Meet keyboard shortcuts.

Google Meet Training - from Google


Google has added some interesting Google Meet training resources to the Teacher Center with videos, PDFs etc. They are worth checking out if you are 'new' to Meets - or if you are reflecting upon how they can be used effectively as a remote-learning tool.

Read more here → Google for Education Teacher Center - Google Meet Training.

New default video playback option in Google Slides

Google has changed the default way videos play when you present in Google Slides. Now, the video will start playing when you click to advance the presentation. Previously, the presenter had to specifically click on the video to start playing.

Read more here → Google Workspace Updates - New default video playback option in Google Slides.

Student email overload

If you have a chance ask some of your students to show you their Gmail inbox. Are they coping with the amount of email they are getting? Can they see the 'important' emails for all the notifications which are generated by ManageBac and Google Classroom.

This is an interesting read upon the topic → Moving at the Speed of Creativity - Student Email Overload and GMail Filters.

Weekly post #10 - Jamboard in Meet, Kahoot question types and Google Workspace

Four things to check out

Digital whiteboarding integration in Google Meet

With the new Google Jamboard and Google Meet integration, you can now create or open an existing jam while on a Meet video call. This digital whiteboarding integration means you can use the Jamboard virtually to host collaborative brainstorming sessions with your coworkers or students in real-time, even when you can’t be in the same room.

Host collaborative brainstorms with new digital whiteboarding integration in Google Meet

The video above is by Richard Byrne who is well worth following for edtech updates and insights.

20+ tips and ideas for using Jamboard in the classroom

Check out this blog post from 'Ditch that textbook' → How to use Jamboard in the classroom: 20+ tips and ideas.

All International School of Geneva - Campus des Nations faculty and students have Jamboard enabled.

Kahoot's different question types

'Traditional' most people think that Kahoot is all about multiple choice questions. There are actually 4 different question types → quiz (multiple choice), true or false, type answer and puzzle. The type answer and puzzle question types are 'premium' and available by being part of the school's subscription.

Read more here → Kahoot Help and Support Center Question types

G Suite becomes Google Workspace

Read more here → Introducing Google Workspace

Weekly post #7 - Blurring your background and opening what you want

Three things to check out

Blur your background in Google Meet

To help limit distractions during lessons (and meetings), you can now blur the background of your video in Google Meet. When it’s turned on, Meet will intelligently separate you from the background, blurring your surroundings while keeping you clear and in focus.

I feel that some of our students will really appreciate the feature, should we return to remote-learning, to keep a bit more of their home private.

The ability to filter out disruptive background noise in Google Meet should also be arriving soon.

Read more here → Blur your background in Google Meet

Google Chrome - On start-up...

All faculty at Campus des Nations should be logged in and syncing with Google Chrome. There are all sorts of advantages including the ability for the school to install (on your behalf) extensions.

We recently removed the controls the school has over the 'On start-up' options. This allows you to decide which webpages open when you launch Chrome.

Here are some suggested pages →

Read more about setting your homepage and startup page here →

Google Meet help sheet

Written to reflect most of the most recent updates to Google Meet and focusing on educator use.

Weekly post #6 - Google Meet changes and the 4 C's of Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking

Two things to check out

In-built 'Tiled' view up to 49 people

Tiled view

You can now see up to 49 people at the same time in the auto and tiled layout options in Google Meet.

In addition, Google have added the ability to see yourself as a tile on the call. When you hover over your thumbnail in the top right corner, you’ll now see the option to add or remove yourself from the grid. These changes are only visible to you.

Read more here → See up to 49 people, including yourself, in Google Meet

New 'Host controls'

Host controls

Hosts (meeting creators and calendar owners) of meetings now have new meeting safety controls to manage who can share their screen and who can send chat messages within the meeting.

To control who can share their screen in a meeting, hosts can turn "Share their screen" on or off. By default, this setting will be on.

To control who can send chat messages in a meeting, hosts can turn "Send chat messages" on or off. By default, this setting will be on.

Read more here → Adding present and chat Meet moderator capabilities for education users

4 C's - Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking

The 4 C's of @1st century skills are referenced within the Google Certified Educator programme. Check out one or both of the videos below to get an overview of the 4 C's approach.