Author Archives: Samir Pradhan

New safety and collaboration features in Google Meet

With the new school year underway, teachers are learning how to best manage their classes and continue to stay connected with their students. Here are new Meet features to help.

Digital whiteboard with Jamboard

Now you can 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.

Meet + Jamboard.png

Jamboard integration helps students collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. 

Breakout rooms

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, we'll 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.


Allow increased engagement with breakout rooms and split students up for simultaneous group work. 

Attendance reports

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 we’re 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.

Attendance Google Sheet [future use].png

Attendance tracking reports will automatically be sent to meeting organizers, sharing participant names, emails and length of time in 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.


Q&A helps students share and prioritize questions without interrupting lessons. 


And lastly, polling, 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 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. Checkout some tips on how to use Q&A and Polls here


Polling allows teachers to get instant feedback from students

ICYMI: Recent launches to Meet for educators 

We 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.

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Education moderators can now easily control who can join, chat, or present during a meeting.

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, we’ve made it easier to feel like you’re together with a larger tile view of up to 49 participants at once. 

If you have additional requests, please share your feedback within Meet as this helps us prioritize and accelerate the feature roadmap to best support educational needs. We’re here to empower teachers and schools to accomplish what they do best. Stay tuned to the G Suite Updates blog for all the latest updates coming to Meet.

Stay connected with Google Meet

For many of us, it’s difficult to see each other in person these days. Video is now playing a crucial role in helping us connect—whether it’s across time zones or just across the street. For me, it’s provided a space to collaborate with my team, and a way for friends and family from around the world to see my newborn daughter Sophia smile for the first time. It doesn’t matter what kind of meeting you are having: We believe that people should be able to use the best possible services to connect, anytime and anywhere. 

That’s why we made Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone back in April. 

When we re-engineered the service we built for secure business meetings and made it available to all, we also made calls unlimited (well, the limit is really 24 hours, but I’ve yet to hit the limit) through September 30, so that people could enjoy the same benefits as our business users with their existing Google Account. From book clubs, band practices and dance parties–millions of you have turned to Meet to connect safely over video.  

As we look ahead to a holiday season with less travel and important milestones like family reunions, PTA meetings and weddings hosted over video, we want to continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months. As a sign of our commitment, today we’re continuing unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts. 

We’ve also added a ton of experiences to Meet to make connecting more fun and more productive, too. You can now see your family on the big screen when you cast your calls to your TV, or join hands-free on your Nest Hub Max. Jump on the call without worrying about the holiday wrapping paper mess behind you with background blur, or take trivia night to the next level by seeing  49 of your competitors (and yourself) at the same time. You can even keep score using our collaborative digital whiteboard.

Trivia night on Meet

Bring the digital whiteboarding experience to your next call.

We hope these updates will help you do more at home, at work and everywhere you choose. If you haven’t tried Meet yet, you can access it right from Gmail, get the app or head to from your browser to start a call. 

Get more out of Google Meet with these tips

With a lot more of our lives happening on video, you might have discovered more ways for things to go wrong during a call. Shaky camera, bad lighting—remember that time you could only understand every third word someone was saying?

With Google Meet, there are lots of ways to make video meetings and calls with loved ones more enjoyable and productive (and maybe even a little more fun). Here are a few tips and features that can help you avoid some common mistakes, and get even more out of Meet.

See and be seen with tiled layout for larger calls

Getting your colleagues together for a team video call? Or maybe you’ve organized a virtual trivia night with family or friends. It’s easy to see everyone’s face at the same time, as Meet enables you to see 16 participants simultaneously alongside any content that’s being presented. Changing the view when using Meet on the web is easy: click the three dots in the lower-right of the screen; in the Change layoutbox, select Tiled. (We’re planning to add more improvements here, including letting you see up to 49 participants at once and adding self-view to your tiled layout.)
Tile presentation on Meet

Easily see other participants while someone is presenting.

Think about lighting and check your background

Did you know that when using Google Meet on your phone, your video is now automatically enhanced to adapt to low-light conditions? That way you can take a video call from anywhere, even with suboptimal lighting, without worrying that others on the call won’t be able to see you. To improve the way others see you even more, be sure to:

  • Face the brightest light in the room (and be sure not to have bright light behind you).

  • If you have a light source you can point in a specific direction, try aiming it at the wall behind the camera. And turn on overhead lights if you have them.

  • Try to keep your camera at or slightly above eye level, so others don’t feel like they’re looking up at you. And make sure your laptop is on a steady surface. 

  • Consider your background. Choose one that isn’t distracting—and matches your personality and mood. (In the coming months, we’ll make it easy to blur your background or replace it with an image of your choice).

Join a meeting from Gmail

You don’t need to navigate away from your Gmail inbox to join or start a meeting. Just click “Start a meeting” or “Join a meeting” directly from the sidebar in Gmail. Once there, you can invite more people to join. (For help, read this article.)
Join a meeting from Gmail

Start or join a Google Meet video meeting from Gmail.

Have a quiet chat

Sometimes you might have a question during a video call but don’t want to interrupt the speaker. Or you might just want to share a document, meeting notes or a link with meeting participants. You can send messages or links to other video call participants with Google Meet’s chat feature. Just click the chat icon in the upper right corner of the meeting screen (if you’re working from your computerthe icon will be near the middle of your screen if you’re using your phone), enter your message, and click the “send” icon at the bottom right of the chat window.

Poor network connection? We hear you

Improve audio quality in Meet

Even with Meet’s new noise cancellation feature, a poor network connection or outdated hardware can make it hard to hear what others are saying. For G Suite customers, Meet lets you use your phone for audio while still using your computer’s camera and web browser to share and see video and presentations in the meeting. This can be done by dialing into the call directly or by having Meet call your phone directly. If you’re in a meeting, click More options (three dots on the lower right of your screen), then Use a phone for audio. Click Call me, enter your phone number, click Call me again, and then press 1 on your phone when prompted.

Other ways to improve the quality of your audio—and your meeting—include: 

  • Using a wired Internet connection in case your WiFi is congested.

  • Using a wired headset (or, at the very least, earbuds) to capture higher quality audio and reduce external noise.

  • Muting yourself when you’re not speaking, especially in a larger meeting.

  • Taking your call in a room with carpets, drapery and soft furnishings to help reduce reverberation.

Show only what you want

When presenting with Meet, you can choose to show your entire screen, a specific window, or a Chrome tab. When you’re in a video meeting, click Present now in the bottom right corner, and choose one of the three options. When you share a Chrome tab, you share that tab’s audio by default. It’s a great way to share a high-quality video without audio lag or graininess. (Learn more in the Meet Help Center.)
Present a tab in Meet

Present high-quality video and audio by sharing a Chrome tab.

For more tips on using Google Meet, visit the Meet training and help center