Zoom is perfect for teachers. It has a large call capacity, robust moderation tools, and customizable video backgrounds. But Google Meet, which is included in G Suite for Education, is launching a grocery list of new features that may help it land a spot as teacher’s pet.
First and foremost, teachers gotta have a handle on their rowdy kids. Google Meet is introducing some new moderation features to help manage students. Teachers can end meetings for all participants, so no students linger after the teacher leaves. The “knock” feature that students use to join meetings will be less intrusive for educators, says Google, and guests can’t ask to join a room after a teacher rejects two of their knocks.
Google also plans to block anonymous attendees from all Education meetings by default. Schools can adjust their settings to allow for anonymous guests, although it may be easier for teachers to send invites to guests manually.
To help students stay engaged, Google Meet for Educators will roll out an updated hand-raising feature and an interactive “whiteboard” that students and teachers can draw on. Google will add a closed-caption feature for accessibility purposes and add customizable backgrounds to add fun or privacy to video calls.
Later this year, Google Meet plans to give educators the ability to mute all participants at the same time, disable in-meeting chat for students, and restrict who can present during meetings. The video service will also add a setting that, when activated, won’t let any meetings begin until the moderator or teacher is present.
Google Meet’s new features are exclusive to Education users, and will fully roll out by the end of 2020. We assume that most of these new Meet for Education features, like customizable video backgrounds, will eventually trickle down to regular Google Meet users.