Chrome Extensions to Benefit Your Google Meet
PD Account Manager / PD Specialist
News on May 04 2020
With the advent of the work from home (WFH) life we are living, having meetings with staff and students can be a bit daunting. Using Google Meet to create a virtual version of face-to-face time with your students has filled that void of seeing their lovely faces in the classroom. But for those of us who have many students potentially present during that Meet, we can be left wondering things like, “Are they really there?” and “Are they paying attention?” To address these concerns, here are some Google Chrome extensions that can benefit your Google Meets.
Google Meet Attendance
- When a Meet starts, select the “people” view. Accept the permissions the first time.
- Close and reopen the people to capture attendance for the first time.
- Click the attendance icon that looked like check box (labeled #1 in the illustation below) to open the attendance spreadsheet.
- Right click for further options like:
- [A] Add a time-stamped sheet in the set Google Sheets
- [B] Create a new spreadsheet
- [C] Turn attendance collection off
- [D] Send feedback
- [E] Reset the extension
This extension can be repeated throughout the Meet to keep track if participants are still signed in.
As a side note, this Chrome extension does seem to activate when you are using the web-version of Microsoft Teams and initiate a conference, but as of now does not collect attendance information in Teams.
Well, now we know how to make sure students are actually attending our Meet, but what if those students are signed in but “checked out?” Here is another extension to help out.
Nod – Reactions for Google Meet
The best way to describe this extension is to quote the creator, Jamie Carr, who explains how Nod supports Google Meet:
“When running larger meetings in Google Meet, it can be difficult to gauge real-time feedback as you are speaking. A simple nod in a meeting is something we take for granted but with many team members muted or observing silently, getting this type of feedback can be tough. Nod allows team members to send real-time reactions to presenters and speakers during meetings on Google Meet.”
This nifty extension will allow multiple students to be polite and “raise” their hand so as to not have many students try to shout into their devices to take control. Students can be asked for understanding/attentiveness by a show of thumbs-up or another emoticon.
One can adjust some of the settings, such as skin-tone/color, or when a teacher can be notified when a student either raises a hand or adds an emoji.
Google Meet Grid View
Though Google has recently enabled a grid-style view called Tile View, the maximum number of participants is 16, including the presenter. As designed by the author, Chris Gamble of stgnola.org, the Grid View extension adds that one extra thing that Meet doesn’t provide that other video conference software provides, a way to see more than 16 faces at a time. I have recently had a session with almost 50 people and was able to see of their lovely faces.
Here is how to start with this nifty extension:
- Click the Grid that appears next to the participant list.
- This will allow the presenter to see all the participants in the viewing window.
- [A] Only shows those participants who cameras are turned on – helpful to see who is actually willing to put their face on screen
- [B] This will allow the participants images to highlight in green to show who is talking, rather than their face overtaking the screen
- [C] And why not include yourself to see your own face
- [D] If you love the Grid View, have it auto-enabled when Meets starts
- [E] This allows the screen to be locked so as screen capturing software can be used
As an extra benefit, if and when someone is displaying their screen, it takes up about a quarter to the screen and the rest of the participants will fill up the rest of the grid.
These are only a few samples of extensions to the Google Meet environment. Look for more great remote learning tips on our blog, Teq Talk.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting our schools and learning, Teq is making all of our PD courses on OTIS for educators FREE to help schools and districts implement distance learning and online professional development.