Online class, e-learning, or simply distance learning whatever has become one of the important issues nowadays. Though the idea of distance learning is not something new. If you look back to the time when there was no smartphone and laptop, you can see distance learning at that time held through the radio.
Distance learning is a common and popular issue also. Because of it, we can learn anything we want with the help of the internet while staying just in our home.
There are endless learning materials such as videos, audio, PDF, infographics online. Especially eLearning made easy by YouTube and other e-learning websites like Reliablesoft, Academy, Udemy, Coursera, Google Skillshop, etc.
However, these are good for solo learning and personal skill development. For instance, if you are interested in learning to program, you can go to YouTube and find numerous video content learning programs from scratch to the end.
So, what’s the necessity of such applications like google meet, zoom, and Microsoft teams in educational and learning activities?
Well, we have discussed a lot about this in the article and show the way how you can use google meet for taking online classes. If you are a teacher, it will help you to become a professional online educator integrating modern tools like google meet. So, here we go,
Step by step guide to setting up virtual classroom on google meet
According to the modern age, the virtual classroom has become so important as it is the only way to enable distance learning. Distance learning made it possible to keep study up online where teachers and students don’t need to stay in a physical classroom.
Last year during the covid-19 breakouts, all the schools and colleges had to close off. There are some countries where educational institutions are still closed and will be going on until the vaccination is done thoroughly.
In this long period, educational institutions have intended to set up virtual classrooms with the help of video communication applications. These applications are so effective and specially designed to meet such purposes.
So many video communication applications have been developed that feature exciting functionalities to make the online learning experience seamless. But google meet is indisputably the best one among all of them.
We will discuss why google classroom is best in the next part of the article. Before that, let’s see how you can set up the virtual classroom with google meet.
Create meetings and invite students
As we are starting from scratch, we have to create a particular meeting or you can say virtual meeting place where you will be the host as a teacher and you have to invite students to join your meeting.
For your information, google meet is available in free and paid versions. The free plan has limitations in some aspects whereas the paid plan includes exclusive features.
With the google meet free plan, you can host meetings with up to 100 participants and the paid plan allows up to 250 participants in a meeting.
According to your purpose, you have to choose one plan and start your journey with google meet. You can learn about google meet plans, offerings, and pricing from here.
Now, go to the browser, type google meet, and open it in a new tab. You can access Google in a different way from the nine stack dot icon on the upper right corner of the google chrome browser. Here you can see all the google workspace applications that you can use completely free.
First is first, you have to sign up on google meet with a google account. if you have a workspace account, then use it to sign up. Then you can see two options: ‘New meeting’ and ‘Enter a code or link’.
As we are going to set up a virtual classroom, we have to choose a ‘New meeting’ which will allow us to be the host of the meeting. Another option is when you have to join others’ meetings with an invitation link or code. It will be for the students with whom you have to share your specific meeting code.
You have almost set up your online class and now you have to share the invitation code or link among the students so that they can join the class. You can share the link through Gmail, social media, or any way you want.
If you don’t like to start the class instantly, you can schedule it for later. For scheduling classes, you have to use google calendar. Go to google calendar from your browser and click on the ‘Create’ button. You can see a short window that appears like this.
From here, you can create a schedule google meet video conference, add guests who you want to join, specify starting and ending times, put some details about the class in the description box. You can also add resources such as file links here for the students.
The guests will receive an email to join before the meeting starts.
Start the class
Whether you have scheduled the class or you are just going to start an instant one, after sharing the invitation code or link to students, you are all set to start your class.
Go to your meeting through the link and you will find yourself in a virtual waiting room. The audience won’t be seeing you and here you have to prepare yourself, check for the camera and microphone if they are working well.
You can adjust the video resolution that is best for your device. You can keep the video quality settings between high definition (720p) and standard definition (360p) as you want.
Also, there is a preview option to let you see how you are looking on the participant’s screen and microphone testing option to check if your microphone is plugged in.
However, you can turn off the camera and go through only audio if you don’t like to be visible in the class.
Thereafter, click ‘join now’ to join your class. If you are going to start a lecture then ask students to turn off their microphones to avoid distracting noises.
In the online class, you have to engage students with daily lesson learning. You can discuss lessons through live streaming or screen sharing. Google meet allows screen sharing through which you can show PowerPoint presentations right from your device.
If you are an educational institution, you have to make it on a daily basis. No matter, you can take attendance, give assignments to students by integrating google classroom in your distance learning activities.
Google classroom is another learning integration that comes with google workspace. It also developed to accelerate distance learning through which teachers can make a complete online learning environment. We will show how you can integrate google classroom with google meet in the next.
Google meet functions for online learning
Google meet includes a lot of functions to utilize online learning. As an educator as well as host, you can engage students through these functions. Let’s get a look at all the available google meet functions so you can get the platform clearly.
Google meet has whiteboard function that you can use to visualize ideas and simplify things like real-life classroom whiteboards functionalities.
On the meeting window, there is a three dot icon. Click on it and you can see the whiteboard option which will redirect you to the google Jamboard file. Google Jamboard is a workspace application that is designed with all the whiteboard functionalities.
You can use it to write, draw, erase, put sticky notes for students, add images, text boxes, shapes in google meet Jamboard.
When you create whiteboard, a link to the jam will be sent to everyone in the call.
Google meet has auto captioning which is capable of turning all the conversations into text captions. It supports multiple languages to transcribe and makes it easy for all the participants.
You can record online classes and store them on google drive. recording helps students to revise and allows them to take a tour of the discussion whenever they want. The recording option is only available in certain google workspace plans and won’t get this feature to unlock in the free plan.
While on lecture, if someone’s microphone causes distracting sounds, you can say to mute their microphone or you can do this as a moderator. When you mute anyone, you can’t unmute them as they have to do it manually.
Google meet offers different types of layouts from where you can choose one that sets your current meeting perfectly. Layout is how you want to feel the virtual class on your screen. To adjust your need, it has three different types of layouts such as,
- Tiled layout
- Spotlight layout
- Sidebar layout
You can get the layout changing option from the three dot icon. Choose the layout that suits your virtual classroom best.
Communicate through chat
You can communicate with students through the chat option on google meet. Chat is free and unlimited. You can share external resources links in the chat section. Google meet doesn’t have person to person chat option. Anyone who writes something in the chat will be visible to everyone. The host or the moderator can turn off the chat option if they don’t want to let participants chat while going on the lecture.
When someone presents their work in the online class, you can pin him on the screen so that other students can see it properly. When you pin someone, it will set their window on the center of the screen so that all the participants give attention to it.
To use the pin, go to the ‘people’, hover over the mouse cursor on the student’s window you want to pin, and then click the ‘Pin’ option.
Although we are talking about virtual classrooms, it also requires attendance maintenance if you are going through it regularly. Since educational institutions are now highly reliant on this, they have to arrange online classes on a regular basis.
Not only for the online classes, but these applications are also used for the online exams, giving assignments, and so on. Therefore, taking attendance makes huge sense in this regard.
However, there is a chrome browser add on you can integrate with google meet to make virtual attendance of your online classroom.
To start using this, you have to download and install the chrome ‘meet attendance’ extension on your browser.
It records the number of online participants in your meeting into a spreadsheet so you can see who is present and who isn’t.
How to integrate google meet with google classroom?
As we know google classroom is a google workspace integration that is designed for online distance learning. Google classroom is excellent that puts exciting learning features into one platform and allows teachers and students to use this in their purpose.
With Google Classroom, teachers can create lesson classes where students engage and collaborate with each other. Teachers can share learning materials, take quiz programs, give assignments, evaluate performance, and so on in google classroom.
But google classrooms don’t have a live video option like google meetings where teachers and students can engage in real-time live conferences and discuss lessons.
However, if you are using google classroom in distance learning and you feel the necessity of video conferencing. Then no problem, you can get this by integrating google meet with google classroom.
For this, you have to open google calendar in the classroom as it is a build function in the classroom platform. Thereafter, you can see the option to add google meet video conferencing through which you can schedule your classroom online event on a particular date.
Why should you choose google meet for virtual class?
The importance of virtual class cannot be overstated as we deeply realize it from the covid-19 sessions in the last two years. Now it is recognized by all that we have to establish more in virtual learning in the days coming in the future.
In addition to that, we get so many applications, tools and software’s developed to make virtual learning easy and comfortable. Soon, it will become the mainstream of all educational activities.
According to the current situation, we have a bunch of online learning management systems, video communication applications like google meet, zoom, and Microsoft Teams that recently joined the club.
Among them, zoom and google meet is popular all over the world and dominating the current marketplace considering user base.
It is heard that zoom has some big security issues like malware magnet and intrusive hackers, google meet on the other hand provides a safe and secure platform that is tighter in the security aspect.
Besides, it has already started to develop artificial intelligence for online meetings to make a more soothing experience. Therefore, it is recommended to choose google meet when you are on the brink of setting a virtual classroom for educational purposes.
Let’s recap, the above discussion of using google meet for online learning purposes will help you to set a virtual classroom from scratch to the end. We focus on every single aspect of the application that you can use to fulfill your needs. Hope it will be of great use to you.