The College now has access to multiple tools that make running a webinar or remote meeting simple. You can:
- Hold your class online
- Invite a remote guest
- Conduct remote office hours
- Facilitate student teams collaborating remotely
- and more…
Useful features of Google Meet include:
- Google Calendar integration
- Mobile apps
- Live automatic closed captioning
- Audio-only (phone dial-in) solution
- Video recording directly to Google Drive
- Automatic collection of attendance, poll results, and chat emailed to the host after the meeting
- Engagement features like breakout groups, polling, Q&A, and easily starting a Google Jamboard for collaboration during the call – learn more about Meet host features
Tips for Google Meet
- Do a low-stakes dry run. Run a single meeting with a student volunteer or a colleague. Get some experience with the tool before you try to run a webinar.
- Make sure you use either Google Chrome (preferred) or Firefox. Instruct your students to use Google Chrome.
- Consider your lighting setup.
- Avoid feedback by using a usb headset with a microphone (a good one can be bought cheaply) or use the earbuds that came with your smartphone. In a pinch, you can use regular headphones with a laptop and rely on the laptop’s built-in mic.
- Encourage your audience to mute their microphones when not speaking to avoid background noise.
- Install the mobile app on your phone. If you don’t need to share your screen, then the mobile app is quick and easy, and you will be able to switch quickly if your wifi goes down.
- Anyone can share their screen in Google Meet. You can show a slide show, but a student can also share their work.
- Use the Google Calendar integration to simplifying scheduling and inviting your students. Create a meeting in google calendar and then choose “Add Google Meet Videoconferencing.”
- Pair Google Meet with Google Calendar to manage remote office hours. This allows you to set aside blocks of times for meetings with students, but you only need to be there if someone signs up.
InSpace is a videoconferencing tool built around a virtual space in which participants can move around, interact, and join conversations based on their proximity to others. This often feels more engaging than the gallery of faces found in other videoconferencing tools. It also includes features common on other platforms, like screensharing, chat, and accessibility options. If you choose InSpace, we recommend holding a first meeting in a more familiar platform like Google Meet so you can help your students get set up in InSpace.
Alternatives to Google Meet and InSpace
Big Blue Button
Big Blue Button is the built-in webinar software in Canvas, titled “Conferences.” While Google Meet is integrated into Google Calendar, Big Blue Button is integrated into various aspects of Canvas. Learn more about using Big Blue Button.
- Learn how to create a new conference.
- Watch Big Blue Button’s tutorial video for faculty
- Additional support resources, including tutorials for students
Zoom is a popular and robust platform with additional features for webinars that restrict attendee participation. There is a free version with calls limited to 40 minutes; faculty with a specific need and the consent of their Dean can request an upgraded license. See Getting Started with Zoom for details and browse the links below to learn more about Zoom basics for education: