Distance Learning Essentials: Google Hangouts Meet

What is Google Hangouts Meet?

Google Hangouts Meet, or just Meet, gives educators face-to-face time with their students - the best alternative to teaching from a physical classroom. With Hangouts Meet, schools can maintain the flow of communication - between students, parents, guardians and fellow faculty members - across a secure platform. You may automatically associate video conferencing with the corporate sector, however; Google Hangouts Meet is an essential tool for educators when it comes to distance learning.  Individual, small groups or classes (up to 250 participants until September 30, 2020 for G Suite customers). 

Now, schools can broadcast live lessons amongst small groups or classes (up to 250 participants for free), run 1:1 or board meetings, as well as schedule calls with the aid of Google Calendar. That’s not all - schools can record training and instructional videos for offline access too. 

Benefits for Teachers

  • Simple to set-up regular classes via the Hangouts Meet, through a Calendar invite, or by using the Meet link within each Google Classroom
  • More than one way to add participants, either by video link or phone, with dedicated numbers and a unique PIN to keep the conversation secure
  • Ability to share your screen during lessons and to visually walk students through any issues during individual or small group sessions
  • Present Google Slides that can be shared as supplemental learning resources
  • Microphones and chat features allow students to actively participate 
  • Teachers can pre-record sessions and share these for future offline viewing - ideal for internet issues and revision purposes
  • Use Hangouts Meet to keep parents and guardians informed about their children’s progress, issues or concerns
  • Consider using Digital Training for Students - with free video lessons to increase their knowledge about using Google eLearning platforms
  • Encourage your class to become an online community by teaching them how to start a Hangouts Meet call so they can virtually collaborate on assignments in pairs or groups (this feature has to be turned on by your Google Administrator for your district)

Google Hangouts Meet for Distance Learning

To tackle the feeling of isolation and nurture a sense of community, Google Hangouts Meet allows teachers to see, listen and speak to their students, which effectively minimizes the distance in distance learning. Virtual lessons, demonstrations and catch-ups can be scheduled or conducted at your convenience, and sustain a free-flowing channel of communication. This will improve the level of engagement and understanding and help teachers recognize any gaps in learning - with real-time chats, Q&As and group interactions.

The major benefits for distance learning are the offline opportunities for schools. Hangouts Meet allows teachers to pre-record or share recorded sessions to avoid internet connectivity issues disrupting distance learning (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides can be accessed this way too - in offline mode). If students are unable to attend virtual classes, these recordings can be saved and watched at a later date. Simply organize these in clearly color-coded folders in your Google Drive, then send shareable links to view the videos via Google Classroom, email or your school website.

Google Hangouts Meet even benefits parents, guardians and caregivers who have been thrust into the interim teacher role - they will need a bit of support from schools too. 

We’re Here to Help You...

At MobileMind, we’re committed to supporting schools for short- and long-term distance learning. We understand it’s a difficult adjustment period - which is why we’re here to help. Take a look at our tips and advice on how practical and easy-to-use online applications, like Google Hangouts Meet, will benefit your school.

Find out more about Distance Learning tools from Google

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