Google Meet: Here Is What Teachers Need To Know

Google Hangouts was the primary option for video chats in education for the past couple of years and now it is going away. Google has said that in the near future, it was going to split up Google Hangouts into two services, Meet and Google Hangouts Chat. For those of us in education, the central question is: how is Google Meet different than Google Hangouts?

What Is Google Meet?

Google Meet is a website and an app for iOS and Android. Meet is a replacement for Google Hangouts video chat. Google Hangouts was once the unified messenger that did both text and video. For a while Google Hangouts on Air, a live-streaming service, was also a part of that system. Now, Google is breaking up Google Hangouts into two different tools, Meet and Hangouts Chat.

How Is Google Meet Different Than Google Hangouts?

Google Meet is meant to be a lightweight video chat service. In an article with, Google’s Google’s director of product management, Drive Scott Johnston, said that one of the biggest complains from users is “just how people are spending so much time on getting into the meetings.” He went on to say “We’re a big supporter of automating the full meeting life cycle from agenda to follow-ups. But meeting value today is destroyed by time-to-start. It takes so long to simply get started.” It is clear where Google is headed and their rationale for going there. But that still leaves us wondering, how is it different?  

In today’s classrooms, many teachers and students are using video chat services to connect with classrooms across the globe. Teachers are connecting with teachers, administrators are meeting with parents, and students get to meet other students and professional experts. Video chat has expanded the walls of the classroom and Google Meet helps do this better than Hangouts, even though there are less features included with the service.

How Many People Can Be In A Google Meet?

The maximum number of participants in Google Meet is now limited to 30.

Who Can Join A Google Meet Video Chat?

To join, all someone needs is a link to the chat or a code to enter.

What Are The Features of Google Meet?

  • All calls are encrypted for security
  • Screen-sharing
  • Video recording built-in (at the time of writing, this was promised as a feature but there was nothing to enable it)
  • Can be added from Google Calendar appointments
  • Your next meeting appears on the page

What Is Missing in Google Meet?

To make Google Meet faster, Google had to get rid of a lot of additional bloat in the service. So there is no embedded chat, no plugins, no additional controls. This tool is bare-bones. But it is fast and super easy to join. You can see my full review of the features and what it is lacking in the video below.

How To Turn On Google Meet

By now, you probably want to jump in and test out Google Meet. Schools currently have to enable Google Meet to have it replace Google Hangouts. That will probably change as Google makes Meet the default video chat app. For now, here are the instructions for enabling Google Meet.

Last Thoughts

Google Meet is really good at what it does: video chat. Google has been specializing their tools in recent years and after producing an awesome tool like Google Photos, I am excited for the direction that Google is headed. Google Meet is a really good service that allows high-quality video chat that is easy to join. When connecting with others, especially distant classrooms or experts, the last thing hosts need is a video chat plugin error. Google Meet simply works.

Final Question

Have you tried Google Meet? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

55 thoughts on “Google Meet: Here Is What Teachers Need To Know”

  1. I do not find meet is fast. It is so web based that whenever there is a lag in the internet meet switches the cameras off and on. I think my students cameras are off but they are on. I do not know how to solve this problem. Help needed. Anything you do in chrome be it open a slide or open a doc it slows everything you are doing in meet down. I have a very powerful and fast computer so I doubt it is my laptop that has the issue. Please advise.

    1. I can see that your internet provider is possibly your problem. I have been working with Meet since the pandemic started, and at the beginning I had a very old computer, and I did not experience the problems of cameras on and off, while the only problem was the delay in opening other apps. However, everything was solved when I bought a new computer.

      On the other hand, I have worked also with Zoom lately, and I have experienced a lot of issues, even though my computer is powerful and fast now. For example, last night I was in the middle of a class when Zoom kicked us all out for twice. Then I decided to open a Meet session for all, and everyone connected. Even the ones with a lot of internet issues that are always coming in and out of the Zoom sessions did not experience problems.

      In my experience, Meet is more stable than Zoom, although it presents some issues, such as when switching apps, the host of the Meet session appears frozen to the rest of the attendants -according to the reports of my students- (while it does not happen to my view of them when they switch apps). Another issue that I have found is that the only way to broadcast audio is from an internet source (you open a Chrome tab where the audio recording is posted), so I cannot do Listening activities from an interactive book (I have to download the audio recordings, and upload them in Youtube first.)

      I hope this information helps you.

  2. So, I use two screens during my google meets. On one screen I present the materials I need to present (powerpoints, websites, etc.). On the other screen I monitor the chat and the students. However, on that second screen the presentation takes up most of the screen and I can only see about 12 of my students. Is there a way I can shrink down the presentation on that second device so I can see all of the kids?

    1. If you have access to setting up 2 computer screens that would probably give you the best view. Here is a tutorial from YouTube: How to see all your students while Presenting in Google Meet using two screens:

      If you don’t have access to dual monitors, here is a google chrome extension called dualless. You can still share a tab (the kids only see the tab that you share) but then on the other part of your screen you can keep your google meet up and still see all of your students. In Dualless you can choose to split your screen horizontally or vertically and you also choose the ratio – if you want to split the two tabs equally or if you want tab/portion of your screen to be bigger than the other.

      Overview: Dualless – For those who don’t have dual monitor.
      Dualless is a poor man’s dual monitor solution. It splits your browser windows into two by just 2 clicks. The ratio can be adjusted according to your needs.You may have a browser window showing on the right that occupy 30% of your screen. Then the rest of space leave to Google+.
      The extension simulates the environment of dual monitor. Utilize the space for 16:9 monitor
      * Split current browser window into a pair. And resize their position and size according to the ratio specified by user. (3:7,4:6,5:5,6:4,7:3)
      * Merge splitted browser windows back to a single window , or make it occupy the full screen area.

  3. Is there a setting that I can use so that the students can only see me, but hear everyone in the class while I can see ALL of them?

  4. I take online classes with google meet. Some children can not see my video but they can hear me. These children are saying when other teacher takes online classes they can see them, they have problem with me only. When I conduct classes through mobile they can see me but when i do it through laptop they can’t. Please help me

  5. I take online classes with google meet. Some children can see my video but they can listen me and Others can see me. These children are saying when other teacher takes online classes they can see them, they have problem with me only. When I conduct classes through mobile they can see me but when i do it through laptop they can’t. Please help me

  6. Hello!!
    When i Present my screen in Google meets , my students cannot see ME anymore, so essentially my tile on grid view is the presentation im showing, not my face. Any thoughts on how to fix this??!! It’s driving me nuts!!

    1. Click on the people icon at the top right hand side, next to the chat feature.
      There is an extension that will take attendance, but it was really cumbersome, so I disabled it. It kept popping up on my screen to tell me who was present. Too annoying.

  7. I am teaching 2nd grade using google meet. How can I see all my students at one time? What is the max that I can see at one time?

    1. Go to the chrome web store and install the next extension: Grid View
      It distributes all your students images on your window, so that you can see them all at the same time.

  8. I teach special education and may need to take control of a student’s computer to walk them thru what they are doing and/or monitor what they are not doing. Do we have that capability with Google Meet yet? or is there software compatible with it that we know of available to the public schools?

    1. There is no feature in google meets for obvious reasons teachers would be able to see all the students private info. However there are software’s like AnyDesk, that could allow you to take control of their computers

  9. If I am a teacher in government school, and my school is not having a domain, but in this pandemic I want to use Google meet to teach children / parents meeting & wants to record for proof if in future question asked by mgmt. So how to get G suite without domain for education?

  10. Hi there
    I saw your link to a Google Meet Grid extension, just wanted to make you aware of this one that now supports Google Hangouts too 🙂

  11. I am hoping to see in the future that when I am presenting my screen on google meets, I can also see the chat to answer questions. Or see the students at the same time but I understand that there might be privacy issues if your recording the lesson. Seeing the chat would be very useful though.

  12. One defect was found in google meet that if once teacher mutes a student he can unmute by himself, right?

    1. Yes, I had the same issue today. I was showing a student how to mute and I tried to unmute and it would not work!!

    2. I think you’re right. I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this. I have a Kinder student that is extremely disruptive, so I often mute her. Immediately, she unmutes herself and keeps at it. *smh* *eyeroll*

      1. I teach adults online via Google Meet. As I cannot issue them Gmail accounts I am using the regular Google Meet app. (I think it’s the same for those using the app through a G Suite account too.)

        You cannot unmute someone. My understanding is that this is designed to protect privacy for the person at the other end.

        I have big icons printed and digitized… for mute/unmute, as well as the video option.

        I would make it a priority for teaching students (with an adults help) to click or tap the mute and unmute. Maybe make it a game and… good luck. (I still have to remind my adults, ESL students. They’re getting there!)

  13. Mohammed Farooque

    Is there a way to create/monitor multiple meeting at the same time and over see them as needed?

    As a special education teacher/case manager, purpose of this multiple meetings is to monitoring groups of para profession working with students at the same time. Is it possible to have multiple groups of meeting going at the same time, set by the case manager and jump between the groups as needed?

    Thank you for your help.

    1. I have just done this. I created 5 simultaneous meetings for Drama students who in groups of 4 were interviewing each other’s characters.
      I muted myself and turned my camera off in each meeting but I recorded each meeting with permission of the students. I went into each meeting, pressed ‘record’. I stayed each meeting After ten minutes I went into each meeting and stopped the recording which was automatically sent to my email.

      You can hear all the meetings, though, so it gets a little cacaphonic but you can watch the recordings later.

      This may not work for you in terms of confidentiality but it worked well enough for my purposes.

  14. Hi. I’m wondering if there is way for the presenter to see the screen they are presenting while still
    Seeing the students?

    1. Make sure you choose to share a “chrome tab”. Then you can pick the screen you are sharing. This also allows you to go back to the video chat and monitor the students.

    2. I do that by having 2 browser windows open and splitting the screen. I have the screen I’m presenting on the right and the screen with the kids on the left.

    1. Here’s one our Arts Dept put together..

      When using Google Meet, we all agree to:

      Join the Google Meet on time
      Inform your teacher if you’re not able to attend for any reason.
      Attendance will be recorded at the start.
      Respect each other’s
      Ideas, opinions, appearance, privacy, and work
      Pay attention to the conversation (avoid distractions!)
      Listen to each other before inputting ideas.
      Only 1 person talking at a time
      Mute audio when not speaking, unmute to speak.
      Prepare ourselves & our surroundings
      Dress in appropriate clothing
      Use headphones & microphone if possible so that we can hear you clearly
      Be mindful of surroundings, ensure you are in a private and quiet space
      Make sure that you have eaten before the Meet happens (not during)
      Close any unnecessary windows or apps that are running in the background (especially games) as these may cause a distraction and will potentially interfere with your audio and camera.
      Follow the school “Responsible Use Policy”
      No recording of screens without permission from the teacher and the group.
      No sharing with anyone outside our class
      Do not mute or remove others from the chat
      Leave the Meet at the end of the lesson

      1. Thank you! It was kind of you to share this list. I’ve been trying to put something like this together and this will be very helpful.

  15. So a teacher makes a google meet link, can other teachers use the same link (even though they did not create it) so that students have ONE google meet link. I teach in higher ed. I know that when you create the link via your calendar, etc its links to your google account. Do you advise multiple teachers (4) from the same department using the same google meet link created by one of the teachers for ease for students? Any problem with this?

    1. Bob Robert SCHEER

      To help with this, a fabulous colleague taught me this about Google calendar. When you look in the Calendar invitation, edit it, you will see Event Details and then Add conferencing. Click on this and the Google Meet address is created for you and the students instead of you creating a meeting, copying the address and emailing it around.

      I was also fiddling around with saving Google meet addresses. If you invite other colleagues then they will have the link, too and saves you copying it around in emails.
      I had never noticed this feature before. Hope this makes sense and helps a little.

  16. How does data privacy come into play when meeting with students via google meet for distance learning? Our district is indicating we most likely will not be able to use it.

  17. Hi!

    I tried Google Meet yesterday for the first day of distance learning. My 4th-grade students were able to mute me and unmute themselves. How do I remove students who are misbehaving from the meeting.

    1. This is not an IT solution. Our IT boss said there is no way, to stop students from doing that.
      He recommended that you, in the spirit of transparency and ‘I know what you can do’ show the students to click on ‘People’ and show them the mute and ‘evict’ buttons. And have a vote as a class on a code of conduct for respectful communication in this meeting.
      At least this is something you and the class can refer back to.

      Depending on how bad the issue is, I imagine some kids will try this at least once. If ongoing, take it up with parents/ guardians.

      It’s great to have Google meets, but I hope, like Flipgrid, there could be an ‘Educator’s’ login where you have control over the meeting and can ‘freeze’ misbehaving students or even send them to a private meeting so you can speak to them… spit balling, here.

      I generally just tell the class, I am leaving the meeting for a few seconds, then re enter and often the issue – connectivity, or behaviour, is better.

      1. Hangouts Meet improvements for remote learning
        March 19, 2020
        What’s changing
        We recently extended Hangouts Meet premium features to all G Suite customers through July 1, 2020 to support employees, educators, and students as they move to work and learn remotely.
        To improve the remote learning experience for teachers and students using Hangouts Meet, we’re making several improvements:
        Only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants in a meeting
        Meeting participants will not be able to re-join nicknamed meetings once the final participant has left
        Who’s impacted
        Admins and end users
        Why it’s important
        We hope these added controls and improvements will enhance Hangouts Meet for our Education users.
        Additional details
        Improved meeting control features: ‘mute’ and ‘remove’ For our Education customers, only the meeting creator, Calendar event owner, or person who creates a meeting on an in-room hardware device will be allowed to mute or remove other participants in a meeting. This ensures a teacher, as a meeting creator or Calendar event owner, can’t be removed or muted by students participating in the event.
        Check out our Help Center to learn how to assign meeting creation privileges to teachers and staff members. We recommend that you assign these privileges to the organizational units (OUs) that contain your faculty and staff members.
        Improved teacher controls for nicknamed meetings Participants will not be able to re-join a meeting after the final participant has left if:
        The meeting was created using a short link like
        The meeting was created at by entering a meeting nickname in the “Join or start a meeting” field
        The meeting was created in the Meet app by entering a nickname in the “Meeting code” field
        This means if the teacher is the last person to leave these types of meetings, students cannot join later without the teacher.
        We’ve also heard from some admins that they don’t want students to be able to create meetings. To do so, use this Help Center article to assign meeting creation privileges to teachers and staff only.
        Additional resources for getting started with Hangouts Meet
        Visit our Help Center to learn more about using Meet with low bandwidth and tips for training teachers and students.
        Getting started
        Admins: Visit the Help Center to learn more about assigning meeting creation privileges to users in your domain.
        End Users: No action is required.
        Rollout pace
        Rapid and Scheduled Release domains: These features have started rolling out and should be available to all G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers within 2-3 weeks.
        Available to G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers
        Not available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Business and G Suite for Nonprofits customers
        G Suite Updates Blog: Extending Hangouts Meet premium features to all G Suite customers through July 1, 2020
        Google Help: Live stream a video meeting
        Google Help: Record a video meeting
        Google Help: Start a video meeting
        Google Help: Troubleshoot issues with Hangouts Meet
        Google Help: Use captions in a video meeting
        Google Help: Accept and present audience questions
        G Suite Admin Help: Set up Meet for distance learning
        G Suite Admin Help: Prepare your network
        G Suite Admin Help: Turn on Meet video calling

        1. Why do teachers have to be the last person to leave the meeting in order to close the meeting safely?

          I would like the option to either a) leave the meeting or b) close the meeting

          I would also like to see a waiting room option for students so that they are not in a chat space alone.

          These are safety features for our children. Other platforms offer these options. I don’t understand why this can’t be offered through Google.

    2. Julie, I just watched a short YouTube video that specifically addressed removing participants. I don’t have the link but I am sure you could find it easily.

  18. I hear from other teachers that students can ‘kick’ other students out of the Google meets and mute students, too. Is this true? Is there anything I can do as the teacher to counter this?

  19. MJ at work as always! Thank you and will look thru it and discuss it w/you this week
    Need to keep developing my Google “skills” for next years group…
    Much appreciate! Steve

  20. Hey MJ, great post as usual. I’m most concerned about the lack of recording the conference for later viewing. However, you seem to have received confirmation that this is a feature that will be added soon; is that correct? Also, what slide presentation software are you using to show your slides next to your screen share? I really like it and would like to use something similar in future endeavors.

    1. Hey Rob! I’m glad you liked it. I’ve seen a number of articles that’s a screen recording is a feature but I can’t find it. I think it’s even mentioned in the article I linked to in the post.

      To answer your other question, I used Camstasia. It’s a little pricey but it’s a really really useful tool.

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