WE WILL CONTINUE UPDATING THESE INSTRUCTIONS AS NEW INFORMATION & PRACTICES BECOME KNOWN. Watch for "NEW! (Date)" flags to appear in the text below.

Updates 2020-03-24:  • New on-demand training videos added.

Video training series on Google Meet (some useful in other platforms!)

NEW! March 24th, 2020

These ten videos cover what our face-to-face training sessions were covering last week (as does much of text on this page).

Getting yourself mentally ready

We haven’t done much “online teaching and learning” at Whitman, let alone on a large scale.  Perhaps you’ve never done anything like this at all. Please try not to worry too much. There will be some bumps on the road you are traveling, but remember that we are all on the road together, and as such, we are expecting bumps.  We should collectively grant ourselves grace.  Technology Services will do its level best to support you (Helpdesk x4976 or canvas_help@whitman.edu) in your efforts, but remember that your students and your colleagues can also act as resources.  Google searches for tips, tricks, and troubleshooting can also be very helpful. If you learn something cool, please do share it with Technology Services and others in the Whitman community-- you’ll be helping all of us when you do.

Breathe.

Here we go...


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Definitions

  • Remote student-- a student who is in a different physical location than the faculty member

  • -- where you see this icon, you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to perform specific tasks in Google Meet.  This is not necessarily a substitute for reading this entire document.


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Getting ready before class

What you will need to use Google Meet

Faculty members will need:

  • A computer with a built-in camera OR a computer and a webcam

  • Headphones, preferably with a built-in mic (headphones only needed if you are teaching remotely instead of in a physical classroom)

  • Firefox or Chrome.  Safari is possible, but not recommended.  Edge or Explorer are out-- don’t use them.

  • Patience.  It will take you a couple times to feel comfortable doing this.

Remote students will need:

  • A computer with a built-in camera OR a computer and a webcam.  (Tablet or smartphone will also work, and installing the Google Hangouts Meet app is helpful.)

  • A must:  headphones, preferably with a built-in mic.

  • Firefox or Chrome.  Safari is possible, but not recommended.  Edge or Explorer are out-- don’t use them.

  • Patience.  It will take you a couple times to feel comfortable doing this.

In-person students will need:

  • Patience.  It will take a few times to feel comfortable with remote students in their class.

  • Recommended:  someone to watch the Google Meet chat window (see details below)

  • Recommended:  if there are multiple remote students, someone in-class who can “pin” the image of any remote student who is talking, which will make it easier for all in-person students to feel connected with the remote students.  This will help improve classroom dynamics.

Setting up a Google Meet session with your student(s)

There are two ways to start the meeting up.  We recommend using Google Calendar to do this, even if you don’t normally use Google Calendar.  If you need to start a meeting immediately, you can do so directly from the Google Meet webpage.

Recommended: Via Google Calendar

  1. Visit https://calendar.google.com and sign in with yourusername@whitman.edu (type the whole thing) then follow the prompts to sign in. 

  2. To set up the Google Meet session, click the “+ Create” button.

  3. Begin scheduling your class (or appointment), providing the appropriate meeting details including the class name, the time, and the remote students (note you may need to get their email address to do this if autofill doesn’t work).

    1. Note that you can make the calendar event repeat, so you can set it to appear every day, week, etc.  We recommend you do this with your courses.

  4. Click on “Add rooms, location, or conferencing”

  5. Click “Add conferencing” - a meeting will be automatically generated.

  6. Click Save, then click Send at the following prompt to email the invite to guests.

Once scheduled, you can click on the appointment in Google Calendar to find the link to join your Google Meet meeting. You can also copy the link from the appointment to share it with additional participants whom you did not originally invite (e.g. if you simply want to share the link with the entire class) via email, Canvas, etc.

Impromptu/immediate:  Via the Google Meet website

  1. Visit https://meet.google.com

    1. If you are prompted to sign in, be sure to use your @whitman.edu account, sign in by typing your whole email address then following the prompts.

    2. If you are already signed in, you can confirm the Google profile you are using in the upper-right of your web browser screen.

  2. Click “Join or start a meeting”

  3. When prompted, you can either name the meeting or leave it blank. Click Continue

  4. At the next screen, click Join Meeting

  5. The next screen will pop up an “Add others” window. You can either:

    1. Click “Copy joining info” and paste this info into an email or Canvas announcement OR

    2. Click “Add people” to search for participants and send them a meeting invite to their email address.   Note that in some cases you may need to know their full email address. 

About the Google Meet link and security

Note that anyone with the link can join the meeting. If they are not signed in to Google, they will be asked to provide a name, and you will be prompted to admit them into your Google Meet session.  Rest assured-- the link is randomly generated and is not publicly visible anywhere, so unless someone out there is really good at guessing weblinks, you will not get any random people attempting to join your Google Meet session.

Before class is scheduled to start

Be sure to email or share via Canvas the following material out to your remote students:

  • Any in-class handouts 

  • Links to any videos or audio you will play in class.  Sharing this type of material in a Google Meet session does not always work well, and there are definite limitations (see below).  Recommend to remote students that they watch/listen to this material ahead of class.


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Holding class

Preparing your classroom

Try to arrive in your classroom (or if you are teaching remotely, the space from which you will connect) at least ten (10) minutes before class… or earlier as you learn to do this or have special setup needs. 

Firstly:

  • If you have a Whitman laptop, bring it to class, you may need it for this.

  • Some faculty members are experimenting with using their smartphones as document cameras.  If this is you, don't forget to bring your smartphone.
  • Presenting something on the screen during class like Powerpoint, web pages, etc?  Sometimes the computer you’re using for Google Meet is not setup up to “mirror displays” and is rather set up as “extended desktop.”  Mirroring the display is recommended (search Google for how to do this on Mac or Windows). Additionally Powerpoint, Keynote, etc may be setup to have a “presenter’s display.”  This is not recommended. (search Google for how to make sure “presenter’s display” is off). (Hopefully we’ll provide links on how to do this soon.)

Start up the Google Meet session in your classroom and get set up

  1. Logon to the classroom computer (or your computer as relevant).

  2. If you have an external USB camera, plug it in. If you do not have an external USB camera, and unless the classroom computer is an iMac, we recommend you use your Whitman laptop instead of the classroom computer.  If you don’t have a Whitman laptop, please contact Technology Services at canvas_help@whitman.edu
    N.B.  You don't have to have video.  You could use audio only by connecting the camera (or using a built-in one) and disabling the video by clicking on the video icon which appears when you are starting the Meet session or when you are in the session, along the bottom of the screen.  Remote students can do the same thing.

  3. If you are using powerpoint, web pages, or anything else that you will present from the computer you are using, download/load them now.

  4. Go to https://calendar.google.com and sign in with yourusername@whitman.edu (type the whole thing) then follow the prompts to sign in.  Alternatively, if you have a web link for your meeting, just paste it in to your web browser

  5. Click on the calendar event that has the Google Meet session you will be using now.

  6. Click on the “Join Hangouts Meet” link.

  7. When prompted, allow Meet to use your camera and/or microphone.

  8. Important:  Click on "Join Now" and NOT "Present." You will have the opportunity to present your screen later.  Clicking "Present" at this stage can yield very confusing results.
  9. Adjust positioning of your video feed:  in the upper right hand part of your screen, you will see a thumbnail-size video feed that you are creating.  Click on this and it will fill your screen. Now change the camera position to either show as much of your classroom as possible, or just optimally arranged for showing yourself (depending on your circumstances).
    Tip: If your video feed will show your classroom, try to make sure there’s enough “headroom” at the top of the shot so that if you are standing up and sitting down while you teach, your head doesn’t get “cut off” in the shot.

As your remote student(s) connect:

  • Encourage them to wear headphones if they are not.

  • Have them speak, make sure you can hear them, adjusting your volume as necessary.

  • Remind them to mute their audio unless they are going to speak.  How:

    • Wave your mouse around on your screen, a white bar appears at the bottom.

    • Click on the microphone icon, it will turn red with a slash through it.  Your audio is now muted.

  • Remind them to use the Chat if they are having technical difficulties with audio or video.  Tip:  if you are teaching with many (or entirely) remote students, you may wish all of them to participate with their class contributions (comments, questions, etc) via chat instead of using audio.
    More on the Chat feature below.

  • Remind your remote students that this session is not being recorded (unless you and your students decide otherwise).

What to tell your in-person students:

  • “Student (name) will be joining us remotely today.”  Check with Kendra Golden or Antonia Keithann about HIPAA/FERPA privacy before saying more.  Your remote students may choose to say more on their own volition.

  • “This session is not being recorded.” (Unless you and your students decide otherwise).

  • Recommended:  ask one of your in-person students to join the Google Meet session (see “Setting up a Google Meet Session” section, it explains how to invite more students) to monitor the Chat, even if out of the corner of their eye.  If you are teaching many remote students, you (faculty member) may need to be the one doing this.

  • Recommended:  if you have several remote students, have one of your in-person students change the video feed when a remote student speaks such that their video feed occupies the full screen.  Doing so can help in-person students feel more connected to the remote student (and vice versa), thus improving classroom dynamics. (See below for how to switch the displayed video feed.)

During class

Monitor the Google Meet Chat for messages from your remote students 

The chat feature allows participants to message one another and share links to Google Drive files or folders.The most practical consideration in watching the chat window during class is to see if your remote students have questions like “I can’t hear” or indeed if you can no longer hear them and you need to communicate.  If you are teaching with many (or entirely) remote students, you may wish all of them to participate with their class contributions (comments, questions, etc) via chat instead of using audio.

To show the Chat, click the chat icon (looks like a speech bubble) in the upper-right corner of the screen once the Google Meet event has begun.

To hide the Chat, click once on the main video image area, and the Chat will re-conceal itself.

What’s displayed?  Determining what is visible in the Google Meet window

The main area of the Google Meet window can show different things.  You can fill this window with one of your remote students or evenly with several of your remote students.  There are two ways you can change the view:

Method one:  click on the “pin” icon

When you move your mouse over any image in Google Meet, you will see a “pin” icon appear in the middle.  Click on that once, and that image will become full screen within in the Google Meet Window.  Click that same pin again, and that image will no longer be full screen.

Method two: Going full screen (your whole computer screen)

  • If you double click on the main image in the Google Meet window, it will go full screen.

  • Double click on it again to exit full screen

Sharing your screen

You can choose to share your entire screen or a specific window.  Doing so can enable you to show Powerpoint presentations, web pages, etc.

Tip: Audio and/or Video:  If you want to show a video or play audio, do not attempt this on the computer that is running Google Meet-- the whole thing will work very poorly if at all.  Instead, play audio from another computer, tablet, or smartphone (put the audio playing device near the computer running Google Meet). For video, it’s best if the remote student(s) has had a chance to view the video on their own before class.  In a pinch, and far from ideally, you can hold the device playing video in front of the camera of the device running Google Meet so remote students can see it. Yikes.

To start sharing your screen once you’ve joined a Google Meet:

  1. Make sure you’re ready:
    Tip:  It will work best if you have multiple presentations if you centralize on one platform, (e.g. if all presentations are done in Powerpoint).  It may work even better if the presentations are sent to remote participants before class starts.  If this is done, the faculty member and/or in-person students may need to say aloud “next slide” as they present 

    1. Powerpoint, Keynote, or Google Slides (in a separate browser from your Google Meet session) are ready to go full screen)

    2. Web pages, PDFs, or other material are loaded and ready to show. 

    3. See the above caution about showing audio and video.

    4. Close any windows or files on your computer that you do not want other people to see-- when you share your screen, whatever you have open may be visible to others in the Google Meet classroom.
    5. Sometimes the computer you’re using is not setup up to “mirror displays” and is rather set up as “extended desktop.”  Mirroring the display is recommended (search Google for how to do this on Mac or Windows). Additionally Powerpoint, Keynote, etc may be setup to have a “presenter’s display.”  This is not recommended. (search Google for how to make sure “presenter’s display” is off).

  2. Wave your mouse on the screen during a Google Meet session.  You may need to click once. From the white bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, click Present now.

  3. A box will pop up with the options to present either your entire screen or a specific window on your computer.  (On a Mac, it may only offer “entire screen”)

    • You may be prompted to give your web browser permission to share your screen.  On a Mac, you may be further prompted to give the browser permission through Apple’s System Preferences.  Granting permission is ok, though be aware that your entire screen will be visible to remote students. When you do this (Mac), unfortunately, your browser (and/or app) may have to be restarted.

    • If you are planning on showing anything “full screen” you must choose “entire screen,” otherwise it may not work.

  4. Present your on-screen material.

To stop presenting

  • If you can see it on your screen, click Stop presenting

  • If you cannot see the Stop presenting button, you can click the You are presenting button in the bottom right corner to get a Stop presenting button

Note: if you cannot see what you are presenting, you can find what you’re sharing in the Participant list (the icon of people in the upper right hand corner of your screen). 


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After the class is over

  • Take photos of the white/black board and either email them to the remote students or post them in Canvas.
  • Check in with your remote students to see how the class went in broad terms (not focusing on the content).  Were they able to see and hear effectively? Any other feedback? Gathering this feedback will help you (and them) in future class sessions.

  • End the Google Meet session by either waving your mouse on the screen and clicking the red telephone icon at the bottom-middle of the screen OR by just closing the browser window.


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Additional Considerations

Recording Google Meet meetings

Google Meets are NOT recorded by default.  If you do wish to record the session, please be aware of FERPA and HIPAA considerations, consulting the Dean of Faculty and/or the Academic Resource Center for more information.  To record a Google Meet session:

  1. Wave your mouse on the screen during a Google Meet session.  You may need to click once. 

  2. From the white bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, click the vertical ellipsis icon, and click “Record Meeting.” (Clicking there again will stop the recording).

The recording will be stored in your Google Drive.  You should receive an auto-generated email about it.

Warning:  Anyone in a Google Meet session can initiate a recording, but when they do, there will be a notification to all participants that the session is being recorded followed by an obvious "REC •" red icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen.  You can immediately terminate a recording and warn students not to initiate them further.

Live Captioning

Wave your mouse on the screen during a Google Meet session.  You may need to click once. From the white bar that appears at the bottom of the screen, click “Turn on Captions” (you can turn them off by clicking there again).

The live captioning is not perfect, but very serviceable.

Your remote students must turn on captioning to see captioning.

Joining by phone for audio

You or a participant may have difficulty with your audio connection. In this case, one can join via phone for audio. Be sure to mute your speakers as leaving them enabled may cause feedback. Please see Google’s instructions for more details:  https://support.google.com/meet/answer/9518557?hl=en&ref_topic=7192926

A call for your help

Whether you are using Meet to include a handful of students in your physical classroom, or conducting your session virtually via Meet with all students, you’ll need to consider how to manage who gets to speak, which can be particularly challenging in a video or phone conference setting. If you find a method that works well for you, please consider sharing it with us at canvas_help@whitman.edu so we can share the technique with others as we are all actively learning.


Can't find what you're looking for? Email us at itknowledgebase@whitman.edu and let us know!