Online conferencing tools have again become the target for “bad guys.” Popular web conference tools in our region have become a magnet for improper behavior. When you look deeply at the tools, you will find that there is nothing “faulty” in them. They have all of the same or similar security and control settings (visit our page on Google Meet Security) as their most widely used competitors: Cisco WebEx and GoToMeeting. The difference is, the wide spread use and the rush to adopt a solution for virtual and hybrid learning models, may have prevented people from learning all of the features before using it. If you learn the settings, you will have more control and can easily prevent unexpected access or intrusions.
Use Google Meet with Confidence. Follow These Simple Strategies to Secure Your Virtual Meetings with Students.
We’ve heard quite a bit about “Zoombombing”: an uninvited person joins a Zoom meeting and becomes highly disruptive, causing a lack of confidence when conducting virtual instruction. Even though similar incidents with Google Meet have not quite generated these headlines, there are strategies for starting and conducting a Google Meet, which every teacher should know.
Follow These Simple Strategies to Secure Your Google Meetings with Students.
> First, ensure with your GSuite Administrator that students cannot create video meetings.
If your school allows anyone to create video meetings, the first person to join becomes the meeting owner. To verify this: check with your director of technology to confirm that in your Google domain, students are not able to start video meetings.
> There are many ways to start a Google Meet. Why are “nicknamed meetings” the best options for school use? (See How)
Google Meets can be connected to calendar events, scheduled via Gmail, started using the Google Meet app, or initiated through Google Classroom. It’s important to understand that if you generate a Google Meet that’s connected to a recurring calendar event, this creates a “static” unchanging link that leaves the Meet wide open for anyone in your Google domain to access. The best way to schedule Google Meets with your students is by using a “nicknamed meeting." You and your students can use the same link for all of your class meetings. Google Meet links created in Google Classroom are nicknamed meetings.
> Prevent students from rejoining a Google Meet. (See How)
With nicknamed meetings, if the teacher leaves the meeting last, students can not rejoin. As the host, you need to ensure that every student and participant leaves the meeting before you end the meeting, in order to prevent students from returning to the Meet. Approximately one minute after all participants have left a class, or are removed by the host, the room is closed and cannot be entered without the teacher being present.
> Get comfortable with in-meeting controls. (See How)
As the Meet organizer, you can control how people participate in a meeting. How many of these in-meeting controls are you familiar with?
- Mute or remove students;
- Re-invite a participant you removed;
- Approve or deny a request to join a meeting;
- Prevent students from sharing their screen (NOTE: you can only change this setting on a computer);
- Prevent students from sending chat messages in a meeting (NOTE: you can only change this setting on a computer.)
IMPORTANT UPDATES: GOOGLE MEET PARTICIPANT CONTROLS COMING SOON
Google is conducting a "gradual rollout" of this feature over the next two weeks. Meeting hosts will see a new setting called "Quick Access" which will be on by default and can be turned on or off by the host during each meeting.
When "Quick access" is on:
- Participants in the same domain as the host do not need to knock to request to join the meeting.
- Participants joining by phone do not need to knock to request to join the meeting.
- Participants can dial-out from within the meeting.
When "Quick access" is turned off:
- All users, including those in the same domain as the host, must knock to request to join the meeting unless they're on the calendar invite. This includes any users who are dialing in to the meeting by phone.
- Any participants invited from within the meeting by anyone other than the host need to knock to request to join.
- Only the host can dial-out from within the meeting.