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How to use Google Meet for online learning

When students are learning from home, Google Meet can be the connection you need with them. Here are ideas for using it.

When students and teachers can’t physically meet face to face, that doesn’t mean they can’t do it through video.

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When doing elearning / distance learning / remote learning, video has lots of benefits:

  • It gives that personal connection that’s missing from face-to-face class time.
  • It helps us to communicate more clearly with facial expressions, body language and intonation.
  • It’s quick and easy. Pushing record and talking can be much faster than other forms of communication.
  • It’s a great creative outlet. Putting creative touches on a video is easy with many platforms.

Video calls can really make that personal touch. If your school is a G Suite school, there’s a lot you can do with Google Meet. Here’s how to get started!


How to do live video calls with Google Meet

This is a quick, easy way to connect with your students via live video. You can use it to do instruction, to hold group discussions, and just to help students see each other’s faces.

Google Meet is available for G Suite users (in education, business, etc.).  If you’re a G Suite user, you can create meetings for others to join. If you just have a personal Gmail account, you can only join meetings that others have created.

NOTE: Until July 1, 2020, Google has made its enterprise features available to all G Suite and G Suite for Education users. That means, among other things, you can record your video calls and do live stream broadcasts.  Click here for more information on that.

Here’s how to start a live video call with Google Meet:

1. Go to meet.google.com.

Click “Join or start a meeting.” Click “continue” to start a new meeting. (You can also add Google Meet calls to calendar meetings in Google Calendar. Under “Add conferencing” choose Google Meet.)

TIP: You can just click “continue” to start the meeting. But if you give the meeting a nickname — maybe your last name and the date or something — then students can’t rejoin it once everyone has left. If it’s important to you to make sure students don’t rejoin your meeting after you’ve left, give it a nickname and make sure every student leaves before you leave at the end.

2. Start your meeting. 

Before you join, you can a) grab the link to share with students and b) get a phone number they can call to join with just audio. When you’re ready to start the call, c) click “join now”.

3. Engage in your meeting.

Once you’re in the meeting, you have lots of options:

  1. The people tab. See who is in your call and take actions. (More below.)
  2. The chat box. Send quick messages to each other.
  3. Present your screen. If you want to do a screen share to show participants something, this is what you use.
  4. Record meeting. If you want to record the call to watch later, click this.
    TIP: This is a G Suite Enterprise feature. If you’re using your school account before July 1, 2020, and you don’t see this option — but want it — ask your Google admin to turn it on.
  5. Change the layout. You can arrange the way you see everyone in a call.
    > Sidebar shows one person bigger and everyone else smaller along the side. 
    > Spotlight lets you pick one person to be seen full-screen by everyone.
    > Tiled lets you see lots of people all the same size on one screen.
  6. Full screen. This lets you make your video chat full screen on YOUR device.
  7. Turn on captions. This enables live captions, which transcribe your conversation into text captions in real time.
  8. Settings. Use this button to pick which camera and microphone you’ll use as well as the resolution.
    TIP: To make it easier for students with slow Internet connections, change the send and receive resolutions in the video tab to standard definition 360p.
  9. Use a phone for audio. This lets you and your students use a phone to hear the call instead of a device on the Internet. Have Google Meet call you OR display a phone number you can use to call in.
  10. Turn your video off. This is helpful if your Internet — or your students’ Internet — is slow.
  11. Hang up. Use this when you want to leave the call.
    TIP: If you have given your Google Meet call a nickname, no one will be able to rejoin your call if you’re the last one to leave.
  12. Mute your microphone. This just mutes YOUR microphone. 
  13. Meeting details. This displays all the info you’d need to give someone to join the call. If you created your meeting through Google Calendar and added attachments, they show up here.
  14. Menu. To display 4-9 in the list above, click this button.

4. Take action on other participants.

Hopefully you won’t need to! But if you do, here are your options:

  1. Pin a participant so everyone sees just that person. (If you don’t use this feature, Google Meet will display whoever is talking.)
  2. Mute a participant. (Only the meeting creator can mute others.)
  3. Remove a participant. (Only the meeting creator can remove others.)


Tips and tricks for using Google Meet effectively

These ideas can help your Google Meet calls more productive — and run more smoothly! These tips were created with staff meetings in mind …

And these tips were created for students participating in class video calls!

Ideas for using video calls for remote learning

What are you going to use these video calls for? They’re more than just for direct instruction! Here are nine ideas you can start using.