How to Set Up Virtual Office Hours with Google Meet

Update 4/3/20: Since I posted this Google made some updates for teacher accounts. Apparently “nicknamed” Meets will close after the last participant leaves the Meet. Also, the Meeting Host alone will have the power to mute and such. I have been using Zoom because I can end the meetings but this new update might change that. For more details search for “Google for EDU Meet Updates”.

I have many thoughts about this new “eLearning” model we have had suddenly thrust upon us. I absolutely DO NOT see this as any sort of opportunity. We are making the best of a terrible Coronavirus situation. This is not an opportunity to “reform the system” or test out how distance learning would look on a large scale. Any data collected during this will be seriously flawed and any conclusions our education leaders attempt to make about online learning environments will be just as flawed. Companies (hi Goldman Sachs) and Authors that are trying to make money off of this are Ghouls that need to be shamed. Sharing resources to help your colleagues is GOOD. Exploiting anxiety ridden teachers or shaken markets is morally bankrupt.

That said – we are making do with what we have. While I know that not all of my students will have internet access many will. As I contemplate how to reach those without access I do have a plan to connect with those that do have internet capability using Google Meet.

The Google Meet Setup

Our district is a Google Based district – every student has a district based Google log-in and Drive. The students are comfortable with the Google tools which is why I am choosing this over something like Zoom. I have no idea if any of this is the appropriate way to set up a Google Meeting but this is what I have cobbled together.

Set up the Google Meet meeting through Google Calendar

I chose to do this so that my students would have an opportunity to plan their schedule and not suddenly have a meeting pop up in their email for immediate viewing.

Step 1) Log In to Google – Because I am a district employee I am logged into Google through my professional account.

Step 2) Access Google Calendar – Once logged in to Google access the google calendar by typing calendar.google.com into the URL bar. (I’m sure there are other ways to get to the calendar)

Step 3) Click Create button to create an appointment.

Step 4) Give your appointment a Title, Date, and Time. Then Click on the “Add location or conferencing”

Step 5) After clicking on Add location or conferencing it should give you the option to Add the Hangouts Meet from the dropdown menu. Click on that.

Step 6) Get your log in code.

Step 7) Copy and Paste the meet.google.com Meet code which can be uploaded to Google Classroom or put into an email.

Click on the meeting details and you can see the Meeting code as well as a phone number and pin so participants can call in and participate through audio instead of on screen.

Adding to Google Classroom

The Meet is set-up in advance so participants can have warning before the meeting time. People that would like to attend the meeting will just cut and paste that Meet code into the URL address bar of their favorite browser. Even better – If you are using Google Classroom the teacher can add this as a link that just needs to be clicked.

Step 1) Copy and past the Google Meet Code.

Step 2) Create a post in the Google Classroom Stream (or edit an old one like I did here)

Step 3) Click on the Add button

Step 4) Add a Link

Step 5) Paste the Google Meet Code into the Add link address area then click “Add Link”.

When it is done it should give you a link prompt in the Stream message.

That’s it for the How To Create the Meeting post. I’m betting there is a much more straightforward way to do this but this is what I could figure out on the fly.

Now, what to do in the Meeting is up to the host and is really a topic for another post…

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