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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Google Meet Gets a Grid View and Higher Quality Video Sharing

One of the things that many people like about Zoom is the ability to see all participants in a call in a grid on your screen. (It makes me feel like I'm in the opening scene of The Brady Bunch). Now Google is going to offer that ability as a native part of Google Meet.

As Google announced yesterday, you'll soon be able to see sixteen participants in a Google Meet on one screen. This feature has started to roll-out to some domains and should be available in all G Suite domains by the first of May. You'll be able to implement a tiled layout display from the layout controls when you are in an active Google Meet. Directions are available here.

Higher Quality Video Sharing
There was another enhancement to Google Meet announced yesterday. That enhancement is a new option to share one Chrome tab in Google Meet instead of sharing your entire screen or an entire window. This feature was created in order to improve the quality of video playback in Google Meet. It should make playing a YouTube video in a meeting a little smoother. This should also improve the playback of video and audio that is embedded into Google Slides presentations. This feature should be on now for all users. Directions are available here.

Applications for Education
Teachers who want to better keep track of how attentive students are in a virtual meeting will probably like the new tiled/ grid view in Google Meet.

The improved video sharing option should eliminate some of the glitches associated with streaming in Google Meet. Eliminating those glitches should help hold students' attention a bit more in a Google Meet. I know that my students quickly get distracted if a stream starts glitching in our Google Meet calls.

Getting Started With Google Meet

If you're new to using Google Meet, here are a few videos that I've made this spring that should help you get started.

How to use Google Meet in Google Classroom



What Google Meet looks like to students.



How to schedule Google Meet events in Google Calendar.