Google Meet Latest specialized Meet features
Google has been applying lots of updates and new features to Meet in 2020, many specifically designed to make teacher/classroom conferences easier. Features worth checking out and practicing with include:
Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows attendees to draw, scribble, and annotate in a versatile space. The Jamboard can be viewed and used by all members of the meeting, but for classroom sessions, the teacher can restrict it to themselves or whoever is the current presenter. It’s also designed to be used as a brainstorming tool!
One important feature that Meet was previously missing was the ability to sort into breakout rooms or divide a current group into smaller digital sessions where they can talk and work together. This is a very important feature for both businesses and classrooms and is now available on Meet with an excellent interface and great management options. Google also intends to add timers and an “ask for help” button to give teachers even more options when in breakout mode.
G Suite Enterprise for Education customers now have access to easy attendance reports as well. These are automatically generated reports created in Google Sheets, and show the names and email of everyone present in the meeting, including information on when they joined, when they left, and how long they were there. Google will also be adding the ability for teachers to enable or disable this feature as needed.
Q&A Mode is a new optional Education feature that benefits teachers and students. The advanced chat lets students ask their teacher questions during a lesson. The teacher can choose whether or not to use the feature and can hide questions from the group that may seem inappropriate or off-subject.
The polling tool is a new feature that we anticipate will get a more significant rollout soon. Teachers can use it to insert a quick, live quiz in the middle of a lesson in order to test student’s comprehension levels and provide immediate feedback for educators.
Is Zoom better than Google Meet?
Zoom and Google Meet are neck-and-neck in most competitions. The video conferencing tools are similar, with the most distinguishable feature being their cost. Currently, Google Meet is 100% free for up to 100 participants for meetings up to 60 minutes. Zoom offers free virtual meetings for up to 100 people, but for only 40 minutes.
For teams who prefer to get in and get out, this won’t be an issue. But most teams will find themselves needing to purchase a monthly or yearly subscription to extend meeting times. On top of that, Zoom has previously faced some privacy issues, making some feel more comfortable trusting their video conferencing to Google. You can check out Google’s Meet security measures here.