Google Meet is getting new education-focused features, Google announced at The Anywhere School 2021 online event. These include more controls for moderators and administrators, such as the ability to bring breakout room participants back to the main meeting and end any meeting with the inquiry tool. Google Meet video calls will also support public live streaming on YouTube in the future, hands-on improvements, multiple host support, and live translated captions. Moderator controls include a new feature called ‘Video Lock’ which will enable the host to lock everyone’s video at once.
As mentioned, Google Meet will bring some improvements to the newly launched hand-raise feature. This includes the ability to consistently show information to teachers when students raise their hands. These users will appear in a grid and notifications will show how many people raised their hands and in what order. And once a student has spoken with the raised hand, their hand is automatically lowered.
In the coming months, Google Meet users will be able to use closed captions during livestreams. They will be able to host public livestreams directly on YouTube so that anyone outside the institution can participate. It is ideal for school board meetings, school events and more. Public live streaming will begin in beta later this year and will be widely available to customers with the Teaching & Learning upgrade or Education Plus in early 2022. For these customers, live translated captions will also be introduced later this year. With Live Translate enabled, you can listen to someone speak one language and see real-time captions in another. There is no clarity on which languages will be introduced initially.
Google Meet users will also get the ability to pin tiles in the coming months to put some people front and center. Multiple host support will also roll out over the next months, allowing users to partner with others to manage sessions.
A bunch of features will be rolled out to the meeting host in the coming months to make Google Meet more secure. For example, when a host ends a breakout room, participants will receive a warning and are then forced to return to the main meeting. Hosts can match breakout room security settings with security settings from the main meeting. Additionally, hosts will be able to lock everyone’s videos at once with “Video Lock” to avoid distractions. For hosts using tablets and mobile phones, Google Meet will gain the ability to end meetings for everyone on the call and mute everyone at once.
Meetings started from Google Classroom will also get many new features in the next few months. Every teacher and co-teacher in the classroom will by default meet with the hosts in the meet, so more than one teacher can share the burden of managing the class. Once the teacher is present, students included in the class roster will be automatically admitted to the meeting. Students will be placed in a ‘waiting room’ and will not be able to see or communicate with other participants unless a teacher is present. Anyone not on the classroom roster must ‘ask to join’ and only the teacher can allow them to attend the meeting.