Many teachers are using video conferencing with students in one way or another this school year, which involves a whole new set of skills for both teachers and students to employ. It’s important that teachers are well versed in using video conferencing platforms, like Google Meet, so that remote time with students runs smoothly and productively. Although most have the basics down with Google Meet by now, there are so many fun hacks out there to enhance the Google Meet experience and make your life easier!
Here are 10 hacks to try out while using Google Meet this year!
1. Easily take attendance and create breakout groups.
Add the Google Meet Attendees and Breakout Rooms Chrome extension to your browser in order to collect attendance in Google Sheets directly from your Google Meet. You can also generate breakout groups automatically using this extension.
To create breakout rooms, using this extension, follow these directions:
- Enter a Google Meet
- Add your attendance list into the extension by clicking the new person icon that will now appear in your Meet taskbar
- Click “show group generator”
- Choose the number of groups in the drop-down menu (for example, if you want to split your class into 4 even groups, choose 4 in the drop-down menu)
- Click “copy groups”
- Paste the groups into the chat box in Meet
- Go back to the group generator where you first copied groups and now click “copy meet links”
- Paste the meet links into the chat box.
2. See all your students at once!
Add the Grid View Chrome extension to your browser in order to see all of your students at once rather than only the default 12. After the extension is added, simply click on the icon in your browser once in a Meet to enable the grid view.
3. Add meetings to Google Calendar and send invites.
Schedule Google Meet in Google Calendar by first logging into your Google Calendar, then click “create” to start a new calendar entry. Invite people to join your video meeting by clicking “add guests.” Be sure to click “Add Google Meet video conferencing” under options. By clicking save, all added guests will receive an email with the scheduled Google Meet.
4. Customize how much of your screen is shared.
When sharing your screen on Google Meet, you can choose if you’d like to share the entire screen, a window, or a Chrome tab. Click “Present Now” at the bottom of your Google Meet to present your screen. So, if you’d like to only present one window that you have open, you have the option to do so in order to prevent your students from seeing your entire screen.
5. Use codes to keep students from joining early.
To prevent students from joining a meeting early before the teacher is present, provide students with a nickname for the Meet rather than the meeting URL. Don’t actually create the nicknamed Meet until you’re ready to join the Meet first. Another benefit of using nicknames rather than meet links is that the code will expire after the last person leaves the meet so that students cannot rejoin the meet without supervision at a later time.
When you’re ready to start the meet, click “Join or start a meeting” at https://meet.google.com/ and type in the nickname you’ve chosen. For example, if you send a note home to students on Monday that says “Wednesday morning at 8 am please enter the nickname ‘I Am Smart’ into Google Meet,” students would then go to https://meet.google.com/ at 8 am on Monday and also click “Join or start a meeting” then type in the given nickname code. The code will not work until the teacher sets it up before 8 am.
6. Use subtitles to make it easier for students to follow along.
Use Meeting subtitles by clicking on the three dots in the lower right corner of a Google Meet then choosing “Turn on Captions.”
7. Split your screen!
Add the Dualless Chrome extension to your browser to split your screen so that you can see both what you’re presenting and your students at the same time.
- Click the Dualless icon at the top of your browser and choose how large you want each split window to be.
- Once your windows are split, you can click “Present Now” on your Google Meet.
- Then choose “A Window” and only choose the window that you’d like to share with students, not the Window where your Google Meet is open.
- When your Meet is over, simply X out of the Meet Window to end the Dualless split-screen function.
8. Record meetings for students to view later.
Record a Google Meet for students to view again later or for any students who were unable to join the live Meet. Once you are in a Google Meet, click the three buttons in the right corner > click “Record Meeting.” To end the recording, click “Stop Recording” or end the Meet. The recording will automatically add to your Google Drive in a short amount of time. You should also get an email notification telling you that the recording is ready to view and share.
9. Adjust resolution to help prevent freezing.
If your network is slow, it’s best to change the resolution of your camera to a lower quality to prevent your frame from freezing. Click the three dots in the lower right corner > click “Settings” > click “Video” > change to a lower resolution under each category.
10. Check out these keyboard shortcuts!
Use Google Meet Keyboard shortcuts!
- Turn your camera on or off: Cmd (Ctrl) + E
- Mute or unmute your microphone: Cmd (Ctrl) + D
- Announce who is currently speaking: Shift + Cmd (Ctrl) + Alt + A, then S
With these 10 Google Meet hacks, you’re going to be a pro at engaging your students with high levels of video conferencing knowledge!