New (to me) host controls in Google Meet

These may have been active for a while, but I just noticed them today. You can access them using the three dots menu on the bottom right of the Meet window and selecting “Settings”. The ability to turn off the chat might be a very valuable tool for teachers. Come to think of it, so would the ability to prevent students from sharing their screen.

Extension of the Week: Mute Tab

With all the discussion about and experimentation with Google Meet breakout rooms, we will need a way to have multiple Meet rooms open at the same time. Unfortunately, all the audio will be coming at you at the same time. By installing the Mute Tab extension, you can mute/unmute individual tabs very easily. In this way, you can move between breakout rooms and only hear the audio of one at a time.

Presenter Mode issues in Powerpoint and Keynote

Our district is using a concurrent teaching model where every teacher has a cart with an external monitor that we are using to display the remote students on Google Meet. One problem we ran into is that if you are presenting with PowerPoint or Keynote and your computer is hooked to an external monitor, the programs default to a presenter mode. This puts the slide show on the external monitor and your presentation notes on the computer screen. Teachers were no longer able to see their remote students.

For both programs, it’s an easy fix.

For Keynote, access the “Play” menu and select “Present Slideshow in a Window”:

For PowerPoint, use the “Set up Slideshow” menu:

Using dual monitors on a Mac, Windows, Chromebook for remote learning

As the calendar turns to August, we’re starting to ramp up our preparation for a school opening unlike any other. Many of us still don’t know what format we will be faced with yet (hopefully, my district will decide tonight). In the (likely) event that we will be returning in some version of remote or hybrid learning, you will want to be able to see both what you are presenting to your students and any students who may be connecting online. This will allow you more flexibility and the ability to monitor students during presentations.

Extended desktop for Mac

Extended desktop for Windows

Extended desktop for Chromebook – access your settings by moving the cursor to bottom left and clicking on the gear icon in the pop-up. Go to “Device” and “Displays”. From here it works pretty much like the instructions for the Mac.

The best way to show video during a Google Meet

I thought I had addressed this earlier in my blog, but I guess I missed it. A few weeks ago, Google added a “Present a Chrome Tab” option to the Present Screen function in Google Meet. This is the best way to show students a video with synced audio using Google Meet.

I would also recommend that the presenter of the video make sure there are no unnecessary programs or browser tabs running during the presentation. This could contribute to video/audio lag. You will also need to turn off the microphone on the presenting computer to reduce background noise.

Here’s a quick video (from Flipped Classroom Tutorials) which shows you how it’s done:

Google Classroom Cleanup from @ShakeUpLearning

We’ve got three weeks of remote learning left in our district, so it’s time to start thinking about wrapping things up. Here’s a very helpful post from Kasey Bell at Shake Up Learning which walks you through some of the steps you might want to take to close out your Google Classrooms. Keep in mind that you can archive your classes and copy them for use next year. This keeps the content and assignments you have created with it but removes all students from the classroom, giving you a clean slate for the new year.