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Pros: It's user-friendly, keeps kids communicating, can introduce students to new cultures, ideas, and people. It's a great way to extend learning beyond the classroom.
Cons: As there aren't any kid safety rules here, highly supervised use is recommended. Enterprise or a similar plan is required for advanced features like breakout rooms.
Bottom Line: It runs great, works on all devices, and can be used to enhance interactive learning.
Google Meet is a flexible tool, and with a bit of creativity, there are a ton of possibilities. Of course, teachers can use Google Meet to hold virtual classes. Teachers can share their screens, give presentations, and conduct live demonstrations. Teachers can record these lessons to share with kids who were unable to attend or to add to an archive of lessons for students to review as needed (see the "Is It Good for Learning?" tab for some important considerations when recording Google Meet sessions). Teachers using a flipped classroom model can use Google Meet to create their instructional videos. Similarly, many teachers find it helpful to use Google Meet as a virtual option for office hours or to offer parents a virtual option for conferences.
Once students are familiar with expectations for online meetings, teachers can level up their implementation of Google Meet with collaborative learning experiences. For example, teachers can give instructions to the class, and then put them in a series of breakout rooms. Students could have a book club discussion, where the teacher could pop in and out of each group to check on progress and offer guidance. Children could work together to solve a math problem or create a word cloud using a Jam (Google's whiteboard program integrated with Google Meet). Note that breakout rooms cannot be recorded.
Teachers may also invite guest speakers to visit the class virtually. Some examples include authors and illustrators, government officials, guest speakers from other countries, artists, scientists, and other researchers. Such experiences can expose students to new cultures, languages, ideas, and perspectives.
Students can use Google Meet on their own to meet online after school for study groups, but the teacher should be sure they have put in the necessary digital citizenship work with their students before encouraging this or setting it up.
Google Meet is a videoconferencing solution that allows you to communicate with other people. Teachers can meet one-on-one, chat with a single person or a group of people, or broadcast their videos to the world on YouTube. There are several ways to access Google Meet. Teachers and students can go to the Google Meet website and click "New Meeting" or enter a code/nickname to join an existing meeting. Clicking New Meeting gives the option for creating a meeting now, or later, or to schedule a meeting in Google Calendar. Meet is also integrated into Gmail and Google Workspace documents (like Slides, Sheets, and Docs), where users can start a Meet without leaving their work.
Once in a meeting, there are buttons to mute/block microphones and cameras, turn on real-time captioning, raise a hand, present a screen, access the chat, create a new Jam (whiteboard), access moderation settings (if you're the host), and more. Hosts and co-hosts who have access to the Enterprise for Education or similar plans (like Workplace Individuals, Essential Starters, or Essentials) will have options for breakout rooms, polls, question and answer, and more.
The experience for teachers and students is user-friendly. Kids can learn how to be involved in a group conversation; little conventions like waiting their turn to speak, listening, and responding to others' opinions all add up to improved communication skills. When writing chat messages, either silly or school-related, they'll be challenged to get their point across somewhat briefly and quickly; it's a fast medium that makes you think on your feet.
Google Meet gives kids a place to express themselves, listen, and learn at the same time. In Hangout discussions, they could brainstorm ideas, have a casual chat, or have a serious debate that requires critical thinking and strategy. By collaborating and working together in a group setting, kids may find themselves becoming better communicators in the real-life, nondigital world as well.
If there are participants during a meeting (students or other adults), remember to notify them before starting a recording. If students are involved, make sure that you have participant as well as parent permission before recording, and make sure that student names aren't displayed to protect their personally identifiable information. Finally, make sure that sharing settings for recorded videos are accessible only to individuals who need access.