Showing posts with label Google Meet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Meet. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

Ten Google Meet Features for Teachers - Fall 2020 Update

Back in the late winter/ early spring of this year I published an overview of Google Meet features you should know how to use for teaching online classes. Since then Google has updated old features and introduced new ones. To reflect the updates made since the spring I created this new video overview of ten Google Meet features you should know how to use. 

The ten features covered in my new video are:

  • Meeting nicknames
  • Blurring and custom backgrounds
  • Disabling/ enabling student screen sharing
  • Disabling/ enabling chat for students
  • Disabling/ enabling "quick access"
  • Captioning meetings
  • Changing layout
  • Using Jamboard in meetings
  • Recording meetings

Thursday, November 19, 2020

How to Use and Adjust Grid View in Google Meet

In my unofficial tech support role at my school I get asked a lot of questions. Now that we're back to 100% online teaching and learning those questions are coming as emails instead of as "hey Richard" questions in the hallway. One of the questions I got this morning was about viewing all students in an online meeting. This is much easier to do in Google Meet now than it was last spring. I made this short video to show how to enable and adjust the grid view in Google Meet so that you can see all participants on one screen. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A New Google Meet Feature That Brings Order to Class Meetings

Does it ever feel like conducing an online class meeting is an exercise akin to herding cats? Between making sure that every kid can hear you and then making sure that they don't talk over each other or you, managing an online class meeting is challenging. Fortunately, Google has just announced a new feature that should address the problem of students talking over each other or you in Google Meet. 

The latest feature added to Google Meet is a "Raise Hand" function. This function will show students a "raise hand" icon in the bottom row menu during Google Meet events. Students can click that to signal that they have something to say. You could also just use it to have students show agreement with a statement like, "raise your hand if you've heard Mr. Byrne tell this dad joke before." As the teacher or host of a Google Meet you have control to "lower hands" after they've been raised. 

The new hand raising feature in Google Meet is available to some G Suite for Education users beginning today. Other users will see the feature appear in the next couple of weeks. This feature will be on by default for all users. You can read more about how it works right here on the Google Meet help forum.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Bulk Acceptance of "Knocks" in Google Meet

Some Google Meet users may have noticed a handy little update that was rolled-out yesterday. You can now accept "knocks" in bulk in Google Meet. This means that when students knock to join a class in Meet you can accept all of them at once instead of having to manually accept each individual student. 

While this isn't a major change to Google Meet, it will be helpful to those who have large classes meeting in Google Meet. This is available in all versions of Google Workspaces (formerly known as G Suite). 

If you don't see this new feature today, keep checking as it is being rolled-out over the next ten days to all users. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Easiest Way to Use Jamboard in Google Meet

A few weeks ago Google announced that Jamboard would be integrated into Google Meet. Earlier this week that finally happened in all of my Google accounts. This makes it easier than ever to use Jamboard in Google Meet. The old method that I used was fine, but the new integration is so much easier. In the following video I demonstrate how to launch and use Jamboard in Google Meet. 




Applications for Education
There are a lot of ways to use this new integration of Jamboard and Google Meet. Here are a few of my initial thoughts about it. First, even if only you use Jamboard during the Meet you can still share the Jamboard afterward with your students. Doing that would give them access to view and review any sketches or diagrams that you shared during the Meet. Second, this new integration could be great for students to participate in collaborative mind-mapping or diagramming sessions. Third, you could use the Jamboard to have students share pictures and then conduct a virtual gallery walk in Meet.

Two New Helpful Features in Google Meet

Since the summer Google has been teasing us with announcements of new features "coming soon" to Google Meet. Some of those features are finally starting to arrive. Two of them that I recently got access to are background blurring and meeting controls. With background blurring enabled everything behind me is blurred. With the meeting controls I can specify whether or not students can screen share and whether or not they can use the chat function during a meeting. In the following video I demonstrate how to access and use both of these features. 

Applications for Education
Background blurring could be great for eliminating distractions for your students. Students can also use it to protect their own privacy to not show things in the background when joining classes from home. Background blurring can be turned on or off multiple times during a meeting. I might start a meeting with my background blurred then unblur it to reveal something that I have written on the whiteboard behind me. 
 
The option to disable chat could be helpful if you find that your students are abusing the chat or otherwise not using it as intended.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Month in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where colorful leaves and the wind tell us that fall is in full force on the last day of September. On a personal note, it has been a stressful end to the month as my school went from a hybrid model of some students online to a 100% online model in the span of one phone call. And I was observed by administration on the first day of fully online school. Despite some hiccups, it went well. I'll write a detailed blog post about the experience later this week. 

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the last thirty days. Posts about Google Meet, Zoom, and other online teaching tools topped the list. Take a look and see if there's something interesting that you missed earlier this month.


Thank you for your support!
I couldn't keep this blog going without the support of so many of you who have taken one of my Practical Ed Tech courses or webinars. Those registrations make a bigger impact in keeping this blog going than anything else. 

There are a few advertisers who also help keep this blog going. Thank you to Pixton EDU, Cloud Stop Motion, and University of Maryland Baltimore County. 

Other Places to Follow Me
In addition to this blog you can also keep up with me through the following channels:

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Week in Review - Trolls, Jam, and YouTube

 

Good morning from Maine where I'm waiting for the sunrise on what is supposed to be another gorgeous fall day. I'm planning to play outside with my family and go for a bike ride. I hope that you have something fun planned for the weekend as well. 

This week I once again joined Rushton Hurley to host a webinar. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Next week I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar about making instructional videos. You can register for that one right here

As I do every Saturday, I've compiled a list of the most read posts of the last week. Take a look and see if there's something interesting that you missed earlier this week. 

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Google Adds Another Control for Teachers Using Google Meet
2. Five Zoom Features You Need to Know
3. Jamboard is Now Integrated Into Google Meet
4. The Google Science Journal App is Now the Arduino Science Journal
5. TeacherMade - Quickly Create & Share a Variety of Online Activities
6. Using YouTube to Share Lessons This Fall? - Settings and Tools You Need to Know About
7. Spot the Troll - Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Jamboard is Now Integrated Into Google Meet

 

Back in June Google started teasing the possibility of Jamboard being integrated into Google Meet. The possibility has come to fruition as yesterday afternoon Google announced that Jamboard is now integrated into Google Meet.

Jamboard can be launched inside of Google Meet by opening the small sandwich menu (the three little dots in the lower, right corner) then choosing "whiteboard." Everyone who is in the meeting will be able to draw on the whiteboard. The best part is that because the whiteboard is a Jamboard, it will save in your Google Drive where you can then share it again for further use after a meeting has ended. 

I'm sure that you already have some ideas for how to use a whiteboard in Google Meet. These are the ideas that jumped into my mind as soon as I read the announcement from Google. 

  • Mind mapping.
  • Collaborating on flowcharts.
  • Brainstorming sessions.
  • Math lessons.
  • Illustrating a sequence of events.
  • Drawing on top of an image.
  • Virtual gallery walks (remember that Jamboard allows you to have multiple pages).
Launching Jamboard in Google Meet is available now for some users and will be rolling out to all users over the next couple of weeks. If you don't see it today, keep checking back. 

On a related note, I recently published an overview of how to use Jamboard in Google Classroom

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Blurred Backgrounds and Custom Grids in Google Meet

Yesterday, I shared news about a new teacher control in Google Meet. Today, there are two more new Google Meet features to note.

The latest announcements from Google about Meet carried the news that you're now able to customize the grid view in your meetings and you can now blur your background in Meet. Both of these features started to roll-out this week and should be available to all G Suite for Education users by the end of the month.

Blurring backgrounds during a Google Meet provides the benefit of removing potential distractions from your background as well as preserving privacy when you're in a place where you might not be alone. Initially, blurring backgrounds in Google Meet will only be available in Chrome on a Mac or Windows computer. Blurring backgrounds in Google Meet on Chromebooks and phones will be available at a later time that Google has not yet announced.

Customizing the grid view in Google Meet will let you specify how many tiles you want to see at one time in a meeting. You'll now be able to have up to 49 tiles displayed at a time. If you're not sure how to access the grid view in Google Meet, watch this short video.


It's important to note that Google has said that using third-party extensions to customize Google Meet may cause the new native features (grid and background views) to not work correctly or at all.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Google Adds Another Control for Teachers Using Google Meet

Eleven days ago Google announced the launch of new Google Meet controls for teachers. Those new controls were the ability to specify who can or cannot share screens in a Google Meet meeting. This week Google announced the launch of another meeting control for teachers using Google Meet.

The latest update to Google Meet introduces a feature that Google is calling Quick Access. This feature will let students within your G Suite for Education domain join a Google Meet without "knocking" first. Fortunately, Google is giving teachers the option to turn off the Quick Access feature. The Quick Access feature for Google Meet can be turned off or on for every meeting that you host.

Quick Access in Google Meet will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks. G Suite for Education domains that are on Google's "rapid release" track will see it sooner than others.

Remember, if you're worried about students joining a Google Meet before you get there, you can turn off the Google Meet link in Google Classroom and use meeting nicknames instead. Here's my video overview of that process.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Google Adds More Teacher Controls for Google Meet - Yay!

In terms of meeting controls Google Meet has lagged behind Zoom all year. Google is making efforts to close that gap. Last month they introduced some new controls and yesterday they introduced another control option for teachers.

The latest control option added to Google Meet lets teachers specify whether or not students can share their screens and whether or not students can use the chat function in a Google Meet. The default will still be that students can share their screens, but you'll now be able to disable that option at the start of your Google Meet events. When you choose to disable sharing for students they won't even seen the option to share their screens.

If you choose to use the new option to disable chat for students in Google Meet meetings they will still be able to see messages that you send. So you'll still be able to post links in the chat for your students to click. They won't be able to reply your chat messages.

Important Caveats!

  • The new Google Meet controls for teachers will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.
  • These controls will only be available to G Suite for Education users using the web version of Google Meet and not in the mobile app version of Google Meet. 
  • Google warns that if you are using third-party Chrome extensions to modify Google Meet (the breakout room extension, for example) you might have disable those extensions in order to use the new meeting controls. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Five Things I've Been Asked About the Most at the Start of the New School Year

Every week I receive dozens of emails from teachers asking me for advice on all kinds of things related to education and technology. Many of those questions get answered during Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff on Thursday afternoons. Many of the questions I answer directly via email. As many of the questions I'm receiving lately are similar in nature, I thought that I'd address them broadly in a blog post.

Timed Quizzes/ Cheating Prevention
I've received a lot of questions along the lines of "how do I make sure my students are looking up answers for quizzes?" and "how can I give a timed quiz online?"

Back in April I published this video on how to give a timed quiz with Google Forms and Classroom. On the question of preventing cheating when students are taking online quizzes at home, I have a couple of significant concerns. First, if your quiz or assessment is easily aced by students Googling the answers, you might want to reconsider the questions that you're asking. Second, without installing monitoring software on students' computers and requiring webcams to be on (and opening up a whole can of worms regarding privacy) there isn't a way to force students to stay in one browser tab while taking your quiz.

Microphones
Like many of you, this fall I'll have some students in my classroom and some joining remotely. For the times that I can be at my desk I'll be using my Blue Snowball microphone that I've had for years. When I'm not at my desk I'll be using this handy wireless mic and receiver combination hooked up to my computer.

Earbuds/ AirPods
Related to questions about microphones, I've had a bunch of questions about using earbuds or AirPods instead of dedicated microphone. Rushton and I addressed this issue in the last episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. The short answer is it will work, but there are better options. One of the key points to consider is that if you are wearing earbuds/ AirPods to broadcast to a remote audience while also trying to teach students in your classroom, will you be able to accurately hear the kids in your classroom? I know that I can't.

Video Lesson Production
I use Screencast-o-matic Deluxe on my desktop to produce most of my videos. If you're looking for a browser-based video creation tool, Loom is a solid choice. One easy way to make short instructional videos is to record a screencast over an existing set of slides. Another easy method is recording over a white background and drawing on the screen.

Flipgrid is quickly becoming a go-to tool for making screencast and whiteboard videos. Here's a quick overview of how to make a whiteboard video with Flipgrid.



Zoom vs. Google Meet

Many of us are not getting a choice of Zoom or Google Meet. Instead, we're just told by the IT department which one we have to use. If you do have a choice, here are a few things to consider.

At this time Zoom has more meeting controls and options than Google Meet offers for free. Google does appear to be trying to catch up in that regard, but it's still a long way off. For example, green screen and virtual backgrounds are still not possible in Google Meet. At this time, breakout rooms are a great Zoom feature that Google Meet doesn't have. And while you can use meeting nicknames to control the start of a Google Meet, it's still a clunkier process than using waiting rooms in Zoom.

The one slight advantage I'd give to Google Meet over Zoom is the option to have an assigned Meet link readily displayed and re-usable in Google Classroom.

Monday, August 24, 2020

How to Use Nicknames in Google Meet - And Why You Should Try It

One of the best features of Google Meet is one that is front and center at meet.google.com but is often overlooked or misunderstood. That feature is the option to give your meeting a nickname.

Using a meeting nickname in G Suite for Education is an excellent alternative to displaying and using the Google Meet link that is assigned to your Google Classroom. You can choose a nickname in advance and tell your students what that nickname is, but they can't join your meeting until you start the meeting. You can re-use your nickname for multiple meetings.

In the following video I demonstrate and explain how to use nicknames in Google Meet and why you might want to try using them yourself.



On a related note, here's how to use grid view in Google Meet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How to Use Grid View in Google Meet - No Chrome Extensions Required!

For months teachers have asked for a grid view option in Google Classroom without having to use a Chrome extension. That wish is starting to be granted. In Google Meet there is now an option to display all meeting participants in a grid view. The grid can be up to a 7x7 display.

Enabling the grid view in Google Meet is super easy. All you have to do is start your Google Meet then once people have joined you can open the "more options" menu in the bottom, right corner of your screen to change the layout. In the layout options you'll see a grid. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to use grid view in Google Meet.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Five Current Google Meet Features to Note

Last week Google announced a bunch of additional features that will be coming to Google Meet later this fall. Before those appear in your Google account, here are five other features of Google Meet that you should how to use.

Meeting Nicknames:
This feature allows you to choose a nickname for your meeting in place of using the default code that Google assigns to it. An obvious benefit of using a meeting nickname is that it’s easier to spell, remember, and share than a default meeting code. Another benefit is that you can give out the nickname to your students but they can’t join the meeting until you start it at meetings.google.com Learn more about meeting nicknames and all features of Google Meet in this recorded webinar.

Captions:
You and or your students can turn on captions at any point during a Google Meet session. Simply click the captions button and all spoken words will appear below the camera view in the meeting.

Classroom Link: 
Within the class settings for every Google Classroom there is an option to enable a permanent Google Meet link. That link can be re-used for all meetings held for that class. You can choose to display that link to your students or keep it hidden. Either way, the link is always the same for meetings directly associated with that Classroom. Here's a video that shows you how to use this feature.


Calendar Integration: 
In addition to using the Google Classroom integration and going directly to meet.google.com there is a third option for scheduling meetings. When you create an event in a Google Calendar that you own or have edit access on, you can have Google Calendar create a Google Meet link for you.

Recording: 
Your G Suite for Education domain administrator has to enable the recording option for you. After September 30, 2020 the native recording feature will only be available to G Suite for Education Enterprise Edition users. In other words, after September 30th it will only be available to those who have the paid version of G Suite. A possible work-around for this is to record your calls with a desktop recording tool like Screencast-o-matic or Camtasia.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New Google Classroom and Google Meet Updates to Note

This afternoon Google announced the launch of some helpful new Google Classroom features. Some of these were teased back in June. A couple of the new features will require some work by your domain administrator while others are available right now to all teachers. Here's an overview of the new Google Classroom features that I think most teachers will appreciate.

An Easier Way to Get Students Into a Classroom
There is a new method for getting students into a Google Classroom classroom that you create. Now you can just give them a unique link to click to join. For teachers this should be a lot easier than other methods of the having to invite students by email or having them enter a class code.

A New Way to Keep Track of What You Need to Do
An updated "to-do" widget for students and teachers is being added to Google Classroom. This widget will show a summary of work you need to do, like review assignments, across all classes that you teach. For your students this widget will show them a summary of work they need to do across the classes that they are in.

A New Grades Export Option
If your school uses Infinite Campus, there is a new option to export grades from Google Classroom to Infinite Campus. This does require that your domain administrator sets up the connection.

Limit "Knocking" in Google Meet
As the host or moderator of a Google Meet when you reject a "knock" (a request to join) twice from the same person, he or she won't be able to knock again during that meeting. Likewise, when you kick someone out of a meeting that person can't knock.

I'll be talking about these new features and more in tomorrow's Practical Ed Tech webinar, Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar

Like a lot of you, I’ll be using Google Classroom, Google Meet and Google Calendar more than ever before this fall. I’ve been using these tools for years, but I know that many of you will be using them extensively for the first time. This Wednesday at 4pm ET I’m hosting a webinar for you!

On Wednesday at 4pm ET I’m hosting Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar. This webinar is intended for those who are new to using Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Meet. It’s also a good refresher for those who haven’t used Classroom, Calendar, or Meet in a while and want to see what’s new and helpful.

Highlights of the webinar:

  • How to schedule and host Google Meet events.
  • Tips for keeping students engaged in Google Meet.
  • How to streamline your workflow through Google Classroom.
  • How to organize and share resources with students.
  • How to manage multiple course calendars without losing your mind.
  • How to save time when giving feedback on students’ documents and presentations.

What’s included in your registration:
  • Access to the live webinar and Q&A.
  • Recording of the webinar.
  • PD certificate.

Register Here!

The primary way that I'm able to keep FreeTech4Teachers.com running is through the support of those of you who hire me for professional development services and enroll in my PracticalEdTech.com webinars. That is why I advertise these paid webinars on this blog. 




Register Here!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Stream Multiple Sources at Once With OBS Studio

Last week I got an email from a reader who was looking for a means to stream or broadcast from multiple sources. Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams can do that if you use screensharing. There are other tools available that provide a bit more "professional" level of mixing sources into your broadcast than what you can do with Zoom and Google Meet. One of those tools is OBS Studio.

Over the weekend Danny Nicholson, host of The Whiteboard Blog and all-around good guy, published a short tutorial on the features of OBS Studio for teachers. The video from his tutorial is embedded below, but be sure to visit Danny's site for more great ideas.