Last week the high school asked their teachers to provide feedback on the first Remote Friday. Going through all of the responses, there are a number of issues or questions pertaining to technology integration. So, in order to provide my feedback in one easy place, I thought it might be easiest to answer everything in one blog post. Any of the text you see in italics below are the questions pulled directly from the feedback. My response then follows. I did my best to group similar questions all together. Please reach out if you have any questions or make an appointment with me if you'd like help learning the tech tools, planning your Friday classes, or if you'd like me to co-teach with you so that you can get adjusted to the tech heavy environment.
- "It would be nice if there was a way to see my students while I was presenting/sharing my screen."
"I wanted a way to see the kids while in presentation mode and to have something to track when they login in or not, and both of those add-ons showed up later from Tonya."
The technology department "pushed" the Dualless extension for Google Chrome within the last few days and it makes it very easy to do! Click here to watch a quick tutorial on how to use it. Keep in mind that it is already installed if you have your Chrome browser signed in to your @bonnyeagle school account.
- "I couldn't see any of my students who were willing to have their video on, I tried all settings for the grid view and was stuck on just staring at my own face."
Sounds like you might have "pinned" your own screen. However, please reach out to me so I can help you troubleshoot it! I am also happy to join in your remote class on Friday to help support you as you get situated.
Google Meets Questions
- Features you miss from Zoom
- "Google Meets tips"
"10 min recap of Google meets features? I think i forgot a few things!"
"Zoom had better controls. We could mute and such."
Within the last week, Google Meet has released a ton of updates in this regard and many more are coming soon. You can already mute students. The screenshot below shows you how. You cannot UNMUTE a student because of privacy concerns about being able to hear something without their permission.
If you have a nuisance student that you need to permanently kick you, click the circle with the minus symbol in the screenshot above and it will kick them out. They will not be able to come back into you class. So be sure you really want them gone.
Additionally, Google recently released some more moderation tools that are accessible to those that are the "host" of the meet. You can see them in this screenshot of the bottom left hand corner of my screen:
- Do students have "reactions" on Google Meets????
Yes! Students should have "Nod - Reactions for Google Meet" installed in their logged in Chrome browser automatically.
- Attendance Extension
- "Maybe some training around how to use the Google Meets Attendance extension that was pushed out today?"
"I need the Google Meets-Attendance feature to work for all my google meets, work for half of them, it is great because it makes a Google Sheets with everyone who signed in and for how long they were there, few kids signed out after 2 minutes."
"Need to find a way to streamline attendance taking for large class. If I hadn't been team teaching I would not have been accurate."
The data team pushed out the "Meet Attendance" extension for Google Chrome within the last week. If you and your students are using a Chrome browser logged in to your school account, it should be available to you already. Students AND teachers both need to have the extension installed in order to use it. This YouTube video will walk you through how to use it:
- "My laptop shut down partway through my second class, and then, in trying to use an extension for breakout rooms, I got kicked out and could not get back into Google Meets."
The extension for Breakouts is buggy based on my experience. Breakout rooms are coming within the system itself without the need for an extension and, if you are frustrated by the extension, you might be better off being patient for it to come. If you want me to provide you with any supports, feel free to book me for co-teaching and we can work on it together.
- Meet Link Problems
- "One problem was that students said they couldn't find the Google Meets link. It was sent to all of them when I set up the class. I don't think they are checking their emails."
"Somehow, people outside MSAD 6 are able to get access to our Meets links, not knowing if they are students using a parents account, it is hard to know if we should let them in or not."
I would HIGHLY recommend using the Meet link that is built right in to Google Classroom. I have a screencast on how to use it on my website at this link. Using the link in Google Classroom should require them to be logged in to their school account.