Tag Archives: Meet

A guide to Google Meet for parents and guardians

When the COVID-19 pandemic required students worldwide to transition to distance learning, many parents and guardians suddenly found themselves in the role of part-time teachers — and even IT technicians — on top of their existing responsibilities at work and home. If this describes your family’s situation these days, you’re definitely not alone. Many students and schools use Google Workspace for Education for teaching and learning – which includes tools for organizing classwork, like Google Classroom, and for video conferencing, like Google Meet. If you’re new to using Google Meet, we created the below guide to help make things easier while you juggle your many roles at home. 

What is Google Meet?

Google Meet is Google’s secure and easy-to-use video conferencing solution that is available to schools for free through Google Workspace for Education. Educators use Meet to connect with your child one-on-one, to facilitate remote instruction and to hold virtual meetings and conferences with parents and guardians.

Meet works with all modern web browsers (like Chrome, Safari, etc.), meaning you don’t have to install or download software to your desktop computer in order to use it. For those looking to join from a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone, Meet has a dedicated mobile app that optimizes the video conferencing experience for mobile conditions. If you are using Meet on a Chromebook, we recently made significant performance improvements like audio and video optimizations and the ability to handle multitasking better.

How do I join a Google Meet?

There are a variety of ways to join a call or meeting, including joining from Google Classroom, or via a meeting link or invitation that your teacher has shared via email or Calendar.

How does Meet protect my child’s safety and privacy? 

Google is committed to building products that help protect student and teacher privacy and security. 

We designed Meet with industry-leading built-in protections that help keep calls safe by default. Here are a few examples: 

  • Encryption by default:In Meet, all data is encrypted in transit by default between your device and Google.

  • Unique meeting IDs:Each Meeting ID is 10 characters long, with 25 characters in the set, so it’s difficult to make an unauthorized attempt to join the meeting by guessing the ID. 

  • Protection against reusing finished meetings:Students can’t rejoin meetings once the final participant has left, unless they have meeting creation privileges to start a new meeting. This means if the instructor is the last person to leave a meeting, students can’t join again until an instructor restarts the meeting.

  • No plug-ins required:To limit the attack surface and eliminate the need to push out frequent security patches, Meet works entirely in your web browser, eliminating the need to download and update plug-ins.

Meet also gives educators powerful controls to help keep virtual classes safe and secure. 

  • Safety locks: Educators can decide which methods of joining (via calendar invite or phone, for example) require users to obtain explicit approval to join. 

  • Block anonymous users by default:Engaging safety locks will block all attempts to join a meeting from anonymous users (users not logged in through a Google Account), and enforce the requirement that the host joins first.

  • Host moderation controls:Educators can control the level of participant interactivity in the meeting. The chat lock and present lock will let hosts control which attendees can chat and present content within the meeting. Educators can also access these controls on mobile devices. 

  • End a meeting for all participants:Prevents students from staying on after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms.

How does Meet help keep my child engaged during class?

Over the past year, we’ve launched a number of features to help engage students by bringing some of in-classroom magic to the virtual classroom: 

  • Hand raise, to help students indicate if they have a question or want to speak without disrupting the class.

  • Breakout rooms, used by educators to host small group discussions or working time. Teachers can easily jump between the different breakout rooms before bringing everyone back to the main discussion. 

  • Q&A, allowing students to submit and upvote questions from the teacher for better group engagement.

  • Polls, used by educators to quickly gather feedback from their students, oftentimes using it to identify topics that need more discussion or to test comprehension of a certain topic. 

  • Captions, allowing participants to follow along with live closed captions in Meet. Captions are now available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

  • Tile view in mobile, allowing you to see up to 48 people on a screen when using a mobile device or a tablet. 

  • Customizable backgrounds, to let students and teachers express themselves creatively while in class, and background blur to help reduce background distractions and keep the focus on the participant.

  • Advanced safety locks, to block anonymous users from joining and let teachers control who can chat and present in a meeting. We will launch more controls in the upcoming weeks, like muting all, and ending meetings for everyone.

An animation showing how Breakout Rooms work in Meet.

What’s new in Google Meet?

There are a number of new features we’ve launched in the last couple of months to enhance the learning experience:

  • More controls for educators:Educators can now mute everyone on the call at once so they can keep class on track. And coming soon, we’ll be launching new settings for school leaders to set policies for who can join their school’s video calls, and whether people from their school can join video calls from other schools.  

  • Coming soon, we’ll have Emoji reactions, allowing students to more easily engage and express themselves in Meet.

  • Later this year, Meet will support multiple hosts, making it easier for educators to partner with others helping facilitate the class.

  • Later this year,  meeting transcripts can help students who weren’t able to attend class stay up to date.

An animation showing different colored Meet chat bubbles populating in a transcript.

What additional Meet resources are available to me?

If you have questions or need help, check out our Tech Toolkit video, read our Guardian’s Guide to Google Meet or visit our Help Center page for troubleshooting information. For more tips and resources to help families navigate technology visit families.google. We hope we can continue helping improve the digital education experience and bring parents and guardians along, to support all families through these times.

Introducing over 50 helpful new product features for students and educators

Every day, more than a billion people come to Google to find answers or discover something new. Our Learning & Education team works to fuel that curiosity and help people build knowledge by connecting them to great learning experiences through our products — whether it's Search or YouTube, Google Classroom or Chromebooks.

During the pandemic, people turned to technology more than ever to help them learn and teach from anywhere, and this accelerated our desire to do even more with our technology to help. Just this past year, COVID-19 led school closures disrupted the continuity of education for over 320 million students across India. This past year, the education community has inspired us with their creativity and resilience -- this ability to learn, and teach, from anywhere is more important now than ever, and won’t end when the pandemic does. During these months, we have been honored to launch several initiatives to help educators and students to better make this transition, and are glad to recap a few key milestones.

After launching our Teach from Anywhere hub in April last year, we have since extended it to eight Indian languages (including English,) and it has helped more than 9 Lakh people to get started with remote teaching. Apart from these web-based training resources, we also believed it important to help impart hands-on training. So when CBSE, Kendriya Vidyalaya and the education ministries of Maharashtra and Delhi State Governments embarked on large-scale digital capacity building efforts, we worked with them to provide knowledge and access to Google for Education tools like Google Classroom, Google Meet and more. Till date, over 5 lakh teachers have attended these webinars that teach the use of digital tools for pedagogy and skills development.

But nothing has been more heartening than seeing teachers from rural areas reporting higher levels of satisfaction, peer recognition, and comfort with technology after these training sessions. One such example is Azmat, an English teacher from Shirdi Urdu High School in Maharashtra, among the many schools that had to shut down in-person teaching last year. Watch the inspiring story of how he and his students continued to keep the education momentum going, even in these challenging times.

The next era of our education products

Today, during our Learning with Google event, we shared our commitment to this community and provided a glimpse into some of the 50+ new, upcoming features across our education products that we hope will support even more learning. We want to enable every leader to bring innovation to their schools and universities, and give them the peace of mind that they’re investing in products that are secure and flexible to their needs.

We are glad to announce the next era of G Suite for Education — Google Workspace for Education – which offers educators and teachers even more choice and control. Google Workspace for Education includes all the products you already use, like Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and many more. Our free edition G Suite for Education will be renamed to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. If you’re currently using this edition, you won't see any changes besides a new name and new features. 

For institutions that require more powerful security tools or want to expand the teaching and learning tools available to their instructors, we are introducing three new paid editions: Google Workspace for Education Standard, The Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus (formerly G Suite Enterprise for Education).

More than 170 million students and educators worldwide rely on our suite of tools, and we are bringing many new helpful features to Google Classroom and Google Meet. Let’s take a look at some of these:

Google Classroom

  • Offline mode: We’re making the Classroom Android app work offline, or with intermittent connections. Students will be able to start their work offline, review their assignments, open Drive attachments, and write assignments in Google Docs — all without an internet connection.

  • Improved mobile grading: We're improving how educators can grade in the Classroom Android app. We’ve seen more and more teachers around the world using mobile devices for giving feedback on the go, and these improvements will make it much easier for instructors to switch between student submissions, grade work while viewing an assignment, and share feedback.

  • Classroom add-ons: Having tools that work well together is so important. Coming later this year to teachers using Education Plus or Teaching and Learning Upgrade, Classroom add-ons let teachers integrate their favourite third-party EdTech tools and content directly into the Classroom interface, all without any extra log-ins.

Google Meet

  • Multiple moderators: Later this year, meetings will support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class. All hosts will have access to moderation controls, so they can share the load of managing who can join, controlling who can use the chat or present their screen, and more.

  • End meeting for all: Teachers will have the option to "End meeting for all", so they have complete control, and can prevent students from staying on a call after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms.

  • Mute all: To make it easier to teach without interruption, educators will be able to easily mute all participants at once, and decide whether students can unmute themselves or not.

These and many other features will be rolling out in the coming months and over the course of this year. To get the full scoop on these announcements, check out Learning with Google, our global event that streamed in 15 languages, where you can hear a lot more directly from our team. For more details also see the new tools coming to Classroom and the new features coming to Meet.

Despite unforeseen obstacles, teaching and learning continued over the past year, all thanks to the heroic dedication of teachers like Azmat, of education leaders, as well as students and their families. We look forward to working together to reimagine learning and push the boundaries of what is possible, so that everyone has access to the quality learning experiences they deserve.

Posted by Bani Dhawan, Head of Education - South Asia

New safety and engagement features in Google Meet

Over the past year, video conferencing became an essential tool for teaching, learning and staying connected. As part of our commitment to building products and programs to expand learning for everyone, we're bringing new features to Meet to help educators keep virtual classes secure and students engaged. 

Helping teachers keep virtual classes safe 

Our first priority with Google Meet is to make sure meetings are safe and secure. Last year we launched a number of tools to help with this, including security controls so only intended participants are let into meetings and advanced safety locks to block anonymous users and let teachers control who can chat and present within a meeting. In the coming months, we’ll be adding to that list.

Teachers will soon have the option to end meetings for everyone on the call, preventing students from staying on after the teacher has left — including in breakout rooms. 

End meeting for all in Google Meet

Getting everyone’s attention when class is deep in discussion can be tough, so we're also giving teachers an easy way to mute all participants at once. Rolling out over the next few weeks, “mute all” will help educators keep class on track. And since sometimes it's important to teach without interruption, launching in the coming months, meeting hosts will be able to control when students can unmute themselves.

Gif of muting all in Google Meet

In the coming months, educators using tablets or mobile phones to teach will also have access to key moderation controls, like who can join their meetings or use the chat or share their screen, directly from their iOS or Android devices. 

Moderator controls on mobile with Google Meet

For many teachers, Google Classroom is an essential tool for managing class. Later this year, Classroom and Meet will work together even better, so every meeting created from Classroom is even safer by default. When meetings are generated from Classroom, students won’t be able to join before the teacher. Meet will also know who’s on the Classroom roster, so only students and teachers in the class will be able to join. And every teacher in Classroom will be a meeting host by default, so if there are multiple teachers, they’ll be able to share the load of managing the class. And later this year, meetings that aren’t started from Classroom will also support multiple hosts, making it easier to partner with others helping facilitate the class.

Classroom integrations with Google Meet

Greater visibility and control for admins 

In the coming months, we’ll be launching new settings in the Admin console so school leaders can set policies for who can join their school’s video calls, and whether people from their school can join video calls from other schools. This will make it easier to facilitate things like student-to-student connections across districts, professional development opportunities for educators and external speakers visiting a class. 

Admin controls in Google Meet

The Google Meet audit log is also now available in the Admin console. In the coming months, we’ll be adding more information to these logs — like an external participant's email address — so admins can better understand how people are using Meet at their school. For educators with  Education Standard or Education Plus licenses, we’re also making improvements to the investigation tool. Admins can now access Meet logs in the investigation tool, so they can identify, triage and take action on security and privacy issues. And later this year, admins will be able to end any meeting within their school from the investigation tool as well. 

Engagement and inclusivity in Meet

Over the past six months, we've launched features like breakout rooms, hand raising, digital whiteboards and customized backgrounds. Later this year, students will be able to more easily engage and express themselves with emoji reactions in Meet. They’ll be able to pick emoji skin tones to best represent them, and react in class in a lightweight, non-disruptive way. Teachers and admins will have full control over when reactions can be used.

Emoji reactions in Google Meet

Because unreliable internet connections can make remote teaching and learning more challenging, we're also improving Meet to work better if you have low bandwidth. Rolling out in the coming months, this can help keep class on track when internet connections are weaker. 

We’ve also made significant improvements to the performance of Meet on Chromebooks. These include audio, video and reliability optimizations, better performance while multitasking and more. 

Gif of Google Meet on a Chromebook

We’re also making additional improvements for educators with Teaching and Learning Upgrade or Education Plus licenses. Rolling out over the next few months, educators will be able to set up breakout rooms ahead of time in Google Calendar. This will make it easier for teachers to prepare for differentiated learning, be thoughtful about group dynamics and avoid losing valuable time setting up breakout rooms during class. 

Breakout rooms in Google Meet

And to help students who weren’t able to attend class stay up to date, later this year educators will be able to receive meeting transcripts. They’ll be able to easily share transcripts with students, review what was discussed during class or maintain a record for future reference. 

Meeting transcripts in Google Meet

Whether by expanding professional development opportunities, livestreaming events or facilitating live-translated parent-teacher conferences, Meet can help your community stay connected. And while many recent improvements to Meet are focused on making distance learning possible, we're also dedicated to making it the best tool for school communities — now, and into the future.

How we’re improving Meet’s performance on Chromebooks

Today, students everywhere are using computers more and more. Not only to complete schoolwork, but even to livestream their lessons.  And they’re using the same networks as their parents, guardians and siblings, putting heavy demand on bandwidth.

No matter how today’s students are learning — at home, in a hybrid model or in school — they deserve a clear connection to educators and classmates. Making sure devices can handle video conferences all day while running various apps and software that require a lot of power is incredibly important. That’s why we’ve been focused on  improving Chromebooks, so they can work harder in the background as teaching and learning proceed smoothly. 

These Chrome OS updates will help students run video calls at home while they’re using apps like Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides and other tools, regardless of the device or the strength of their internet connections. Here’s how we’re making Chrome OS and Chromebooks even better behind the scenes.

Animated gif of Google Meet on Chromebooks

Adapting to distance-learning challenges

In Chrome OS, we’ve improved how Meet videos are streamed. The improvements will make it easier for educators and students to choose a feature like grid view, where they can see images of other Meet attendees without affecting the performance of other apps. So if students are taking notes in a Google Doc while in a Meet, or running a Kahoot! game at the same time, they’ll be able to see everyone.

Better camera performance 

We’ve also improved Chromebooks’ camera and video feed performance and efficiency by making sure that audio and video data don’t require any unnecessary processing. This means  your device will have more processing power available for other tasks.

Meet now adjusts dynamically

We’re working on making Google Meet adapt more intelligently to your device, your network and what you’re working on. That means if students or teachers need to share their screens or take notes while in a Meet, the Meet’s video resolution or frame rate may be decreased slightly so that video performance doesn’t suffer.  Meet will now also adapt to the speed of your network by temporarily turning off some video feeds, to make sure you’re not interrupted if many people are using your connection at the same time. 

Features built with education in mind

Educators use Meet to run their virtual classrooms similarly to how they’d run class in person — they call on students to participate, send students into small groups and answer questions in real time. That’s why we’ve built features like hand-raising, digital whiteboards, polls, Q&A and breakout rooms, so educators can continue to use many of their in-person teaching methods in the virtual classroom.

Teaming up on Zoom improvements

Educators and learners who use Zoom should also see performance improvements during their videoconferences: Google and Zoom engineering teams have been working together on service enhancements for Chrome devices. Just like Meet, Zoom will adjust video performance based on devices in use and what participants are using their devices to do.

If you need more help getting the most out of videoconferencing, start by going over the basic  hardware and software requirements for using Meet or Zoom. Plus, check out this training guide to strengthen your Meet skills, or sign up for this training for educators. And if you’re looking to  support educators as well as students, help them by troubleshooting common issues with Meet.

Google Meet and Duo help you share moments that matter

Without a doubt, 2020 was the year of video calling. And for us, that meant making sure every student, team, and family could jump on a call from any device and have a reliable, safe experience. Google Duo and Google Meet hosted over one trillion minutes of video calls globally. For perspective, that’s equal to more than 18 billion hour-long virtual workouts in a single year! 

Here’s a recap of what we’ve done so far.

Productive and engaging meetings at home, work, and school 

A Google Meet meeting with a slide presentation about broccoli and baby carrots.

In 2020, Meet was put to the test. Our team had to really think through how virtual meetings could bring the key part of what in-person meetings provide: human connection. We launched new features like 49-tile layout, noise cancellation, background blur, and low-light mode plus live captions in five languages to help everyone follow along on the call. 

Earlier this year, we made Meet free for everyone. We also announced that with your Gmail account, Meet calls are unlimited through March 31, 2021 so that families can enjoy their holiday traditions without interruptions. Speaking of Gmail, we added a Meet tab in Gmail, so that with one tap, people can jump from an email to a video call. We also brought Meet to Nest Hub Max and Chromecast to help people get up, move around, and have hands-free calls at home. 

In large group settings like team all-hands or a classroom, it gets harder for people to speak up and to engage everyone on the call. With Meet, participants can use Q&A and hand raising tools, polls and breakout rooms. Organizations and moderators have more control too, keeping their meetings and participants safe, including advanced anti-abuse features, that allow for an enjoyable, safe experience for all. And in 2021, as many companies evaluate a flexible working model, we’ve designed Meet to work with our Series One hardware kits, created to deliver inclusive audio and video clarity that makes you feel like you're all together. So whether you're a Google Workspace subscriber relying on Meet's enterprise-grade functionality, or using Meet’s free version to safely connect with others near and far, Meet has you covered.

Fun experiences in your video calls

A Google Duo video call using holiday reindeer effects.

Being helpful means being there for the moments big and small. Though the pandemic kept me physically apart from many family members, I felt like they were with me and my family through virtual dinners, holidays like Thanksgiving, and even school band practices with Google Duo. At the end of the day, Google Duo makes it simple to go from texting each other to getting right on a video call.  In a year of virtual get-togethers, Google Duo was there to help make video calls more fun: doodle on video calls, magically transform into an astronaut or a cat, and spread laughs and cheer this holiday season with our wide portfolio of AR effects that change based on your facial expressions and move with you around the screen. And with Moments, you can capture the fun (and the embarrassing moments!) to relive the memory afterwards. 

With so many families having to work on the frontlines, our team was focused on ensuring calls could be connected with the highest quality even in low bandwidth connections. Google Duo is available on Android, iOS, tablets, computers, Android TV, smart speakers and smart displays.

Google Meet and Google Duo were built with an emphasis on privacy and security, to keep your calls and meetings safe and your information private. 

We hope that our work so far continues to help people stay in touch during this holiday season, and we’re looking forward to connecting more families, friends, students, teachers and teams in 2021 and beyond. 

Live captions come to Meet in four new languages

This year has marked a dramatic shift in how many of us work, learn and stay in touch with one another. And as many of us learn to embrace remote tools and virtual communication for the first time, it’s incredibly important to have inclusive, accessible and fair virtual meetings, whether you’re planning a return to the office, going fully remote or using a hybrid model, with some people together in person and some remote. 

For years, Google has focused on building products that help level the playing field. Google Meet, for example, uses speech-to-text technology to provide live captions in meetings; this helps participants who may be deaf or hard of hearing follow along and stay engaged. We introduced live captions in English last year, and starting today, we’re expanding live caption support to four additional languages: French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Spain and Latin America).

More inclusive video calls

We know from our work with teachers and parents over the years how essential caption tools can be for students with learning disabilities, as well as English-language learners in both K-12 and higher education. Professional development experts often encourage the integration of this technology to make lessons more accessible, especially in the time of COVID-19. We’ve heard from Meet users about how helpful it can be to not only see who is speaking and view their expressions, but also read the text of what they are saying. By expanding live captions to more languages, we can help more students feel empowered to participate, and help more teachers share a space that is both accessible and inclusive. In addition, we’ve made captions settings “sticky,” so they’re even easier to use. This means that if you turn them on or off during a meeting, your preference will be saved, along with the chosen language, for future meetings.

Live captions in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese will begin rolling out to Meet web users across all editions starting today. Learn more about the rollout in our Google Workspace Updates blog.

Live captions in Meet in new languages

Making large meetings easier for more people

Earlier this year, we introduced breakout rooms in Meet to help educators create dedicated spaces for more focused discussions and track student engagement with attendance reports. We’ve continued to improve these experiences and have also made them available to more Google Workspace editions so that organizations can use group discussion formats. Below are the latest updates to these large meeting features that help organizations increase participation and engagement during a call. 

  • Breakout Rooms:A new countdown timer helps moderators keep everyone on task. Moderator requests call on the moderator to join a breakout room if participants need help or have a question, and dial-in participants and anonymous users can now participate in breakout rooms. 

  • Attendance Reports:Viewership data is now available for live streamed events like virtual all-hands meetings, and new advanced settings provide admins and hosts with additional controls over attendance reports.  

  • Hand raising:Participants can now let you know if they have a question or indicate that they would like to speak by raising their hand. In large meetings, this helps to increase participation while not disrupting the flow of the conversation and helps to prevent people from interrupting one another.

Staying connected over the holidays

As you turn to video to connect virtually with your loved ones this holiday season, Google Meet will continue to offer unlimited calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts. This way, you can have enough time to keep up your holiday traditions virtually—and not get cut off before dessert.

The tools that help me work from home with Dyslexia

Years ago, I wrote something that received some surprising criticism. I’m dyslexic, and I decided to post an update without using any of the writing tools I typically use, just to show people how useful they are. Despite the fact that I introduced the post by explaining it was an example of how challenging writing can be for someone with dyslexia, someone responded by pointing out all my spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Thankfully, most people understood my message: Yes, dyslexia can make some things harder for me, but using the right tools can be transformative.

I really like using my own experience to help others find and use the right tools for them. For more than 25 years, I’ve been championing the benefits of neurodiversity in the tech space. Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are recognized and respected just like any other characteristics that differ from person to person. Dyslexia is one example of neurodiversity; ADHD is another. 

The way I think and process problems is critical to my role at Google, as I need to see the bigger picture in a very complex landscape. Over the last few decades, I’ve been a part of mentor groups as well as neurodiversity roundtables and events where we talk about what challenges and benefits there are for those who have different communication and work styles, and how we can all best excel together. I also partner with Google Cloud and Google Workspace customers through our Office of the CTO program, or OCTO, to help bring some of these learnings to people outside of Google who use our products.

Working from home has presented hurdles for all of us, myself included. I’ve found it difficult to live without a whiteboard or develop ideas when collaborating with others. But I’ve also learned a few things that have helped me adjust, and helped me and my teams. I wanted to share some tips and tools I’ve learned over the months (and in some cases, years) that can be especially useful while many of us continue to work from home. 

  1. Personally, I’ve found that using the online version of Jamboard and a Pixel Pen during remote meetings—of which I now have plenty of—has been a game changer. Having a virtual whiteboard in front of me that my colleagues can also see helps bridge the disconnect between us. It’s amazing how engaging it can be seeing a solution coming alive, and how discussing it can enrich the outcome. This is especially critical with complex problems. 

  2. While having your camera on during every meeting can become painful, it’s incredibly helpful for many people. I need to read body language; it often helps me know if I need to speak slower or move a little more quickly through a presentation. (Of course, I fully understand when this isn’t possible!)

  3. Using captions in Google Meet is always a good idea. For me, being able to match the words that are being spoken to those typed out below helps me not miss important details, and also means I can take notes. Captions even correct speakers’ grammar mistakes, which helps with my note taking. While captions are only available in English right now, we're actively working to bring them to more languages.

  4. This might sound a little obvious, but using Smart Compose and grammar suggestions features have definitely improved my writing abilities. If I’m struggling with how to write a sentence, Smart Compose can suggest ways to complete it, which saves me time. (And is especially helpful with words like “where” and “were.”)

  5. The fifth and final tool that’s worked well for me is using more than one screen. I’ve found that a single screen feels very restrictive to me. I normally have three screens since I jump between tasks a lot. Many neurodiverse people like myself find it difficult to stay focused on one thing for very long. Having my work “scattered” around on different screens feels sort of like having papers all over a desk; I can pick up pieces in parallel without the need to stop and start what I’m doing. Basically, being able to easily move between the different things helps me find a flow.  

Some of these things more specifically serve neurodiverse people, while others can help anyone. But the idea is that when we’re more empathetic and attuned to what everyone on our team needs, we’re better able to perform as a group.

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.

1342-GDU-Meet seetings-01.png

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 meet.google.com from your browser to start a call.