In a blog post, Google has announced the new features in their Google Meet video conferencing solution which would help teachers best manage their classes and continue to stay connected with their students.
Digital whiteboard with Jamboard
You can now use Jamboard to make your Meet lessons more interactive—start by preparing your digital whiteboard in advance of your lesson. When it’s time to start a class session, whiteboards are view-only to the class by default but can be made collaborative so all students can edit and build on one another’s ideas. Both teachers and students can present a whiteboard, but the teacher can restrict this using the “who is allowed to present” setting. If presentations are restricted, then students will still be able to view and collaborate on the teacher’s whiteboard.
Breakout rooms allow educators to split students into simultaneous small group discussions. They are now available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, as many schools have started distance or hybrid learning, and will be launching to additional Google Workspace editions later this year. Over the next few months, Google will add new features like a timer and an “ask for help” option for participants to get the teacher’s attention. With breakout rooms, teachers will be able to mirror their in-classroom teaching methods in Meet.
Taking attendance can be time-consuming, especially with remote classes. Teachers can save time with attendance reports, now rolling out over the next few weeks to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. The report includes each participant’s name, email and the length of time the participant was on call, including initial join and exit time. Meeting organizers can securely receive these reports after meetings with more than five participants. Later this year Google is adding admin controls to enable or disable attendance reports for the domain and host controls to give teachers the choice to turn this feature on/off for each meeting.
The new Q&A feature, which G Suite Enterprise for Education customers will see in the coming days, allows students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the lesson or discussion. Students can post their questions to a queue and other students can upvote questions so the teacher knows which to answer first. For better control, teachers can hide any questions and can enable or disable question submission at any time.
And lastly, polling, is now rolling out for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Polling allows teachers to periodically check in to make sure students understand the classwork and aren’t falling behind. Instant feedback also allows teachers to adjust the curriculum when students require extra development on certain subjects. Polls can also make classes fun with icebreakers to revive class engagement, start discussions or debate a topic.
Other recently launched features
Google recently made it easier for moderators to manage who can join their meetings with a simple toggle called Quick access. Educators also have new meeting controls to manage who can share their screen and who can send chat messages within the meeting to make the distance learning environment as safe as possible.
You can now blur your background in meetings (coming soon to Chrome OS), which offers class participants more privacy and limits potential distractions like an unmade bed or a friendly pet. And since many classes can’t be all together in person right now, Google has made it easier to feel like you’re together with a larger tile view of up to 49 participants at once.