Make Google Meet better by installing these 5 Chrome extensions!
Video conferencing tools have quickly become an essential part of the virtual classroom.
I have been answered the “Zoom vs. Google Meet” question dozens of times over the past few weeks.
Honestly, I don’t really think it matters any more than picking Coke over Pepsi or Ford over Chevy.
When used correctly, with the proper security settings in place, both Zoom and Meet are very capable video conferencing tools.
Here’s the thing… if you teach in a G Suite for Education school and you are using Chromebooks and Google Classroom…why wouldn’t you use Google Meet?
Unfortunately, one of the big selling points of Zoom are the “fancy” features that are missing from Google Meet:
- Seeing ALL of your students at the same time
- Audience reactions
These missing features make Google Meet feel a bit less polished and capable than Zoom…until now!
There is a growing list of Chrome extensions that can enhance your Google Meet experience and add “Zoom-like” elements!
Let’s take a look at some of my favorites!
Grid View for Google Meet
Grid view makes it possible to see all of your students on-screen at one time. I have successfully used Grid view in a session with more than 200 participants and it works great!
Keep in mind that when Grid View is active, all participant’s screens are shown at the same time. If you are presenting something for your students, they should turn Grid view OFF so that your screen is larger.
Note: Google recently added “tiled view” to Google Meet which will display up to 49 participants at a time. While tile view is nice, Grid View provides some BONUS features like the ability to mirror your screen and the option to view your screen share in the Meet window.
⤵️ Click to install the Grid View Chrome Extension
Nod reactions for Google Meet
The Nod Chrome extension adds in Facebook-like reactions. Students can clap, raise their hand, or LOL during your session without interrupting the speaker.
The Nod extension MUST be installed before you will see reactions from others in the call.
⤵️ Click to install the Nod Chrome Extension
Dualless window splitter
Use Dualless to split your screen into two windows so that you can screen share AND monitor your class at the same time.
If you wan to share your screen and keep track of the Meet chat and video windows you need to organize your tabs into two windows – one that contains the websites you want to share and another that lets you view the Google Meet.
If you have dual monitors you this is pretty easy. But if you are “dual-less”, you can use this handy Chrome Extension!
⤵️ Click to install the Dualless Chrome Extension
This extension will record a list of everyone who is present in a live session. Attendance information is stored in a Google Sheet which is only accessible by the meeting creator.
Only the teacher needs to have this extension installed.
While it does work, the Meet attendance interface is a bit funky. You’ll want to spend some time playing with it to understand how it works.
⤵️ Click to install the Meet Attendance Chrome Extension
Push to Talk
This is a great extension for young students who struggle to push the mute/unmute button. When this extension is installed, you must press the space bar to talk. Let go of the space bar and your mic is muted again.
While it’s not perfect, this extension helps address the lack of a “mute all” button on Meet.
Tip: Once students join your Meet call, have the manually mute their mic. This is required before the push-to-talk extension will work. From this point forward they can use the spacebar to control their microphone.
⤵️ Click to install the Push to Talk Chrome Extension
BONUS: Highlight mouse cursor
It can be difficult for participants to see and track your mouse cursor when you are sharing during a Meet session. Enable to the “highlight mouse cursor” accessibility feature on your Chromebook to add a red circle around your mouse. This makes it much easier to follow your virtual demonstration.
Read this post for detailed instructions on how to enable accesibility features on your Chromebook.
Still Missing from Meet
While the extensions above do fill in some missing Meet features, there are a few more that I don’t have solutions for:
- Mute all – The meeting creator should be able to mute all participants with a single click. I haven’t found any magic solutions to make it easy to mute everyone in a Meet session, although Push to talk helps.
- Remove all – The meeting host needs to be the last person to leave the Meet session. It is possible to manually remove participants, but this must be done one at a time. I would like to see an “end meeting” button which removes everyone from the meet.
- Better moderator controls – Google has added a lot of great features including breakout rooms and background replacement. The moderator controls for these features leave a lot to be desired, however. Currently only one person can be the meeting hosting and it isn’t possible to transfer host controls to someone else. This makes it tough to lead a meeting or virtual lessons with a co-teacher.
- Breakout Room Management – Having the ability to use breakout rooms in Google Meet is great! It would be even better if breakout room assignments could be saved and teachers could send chat messages into all breakout rooms.
If you have solutions to any of these missing features please let me know!
Kimie Carroll says
Thank you very much for this!
D Streckert says
Great post, however, the Dualless window splitter link has Nod reactions link instead.
Krystle Lopez says
These are great! Thank you for researching these. My district uses Google Meet for department meetings. We use Zoom or Schoology Conferences for student conferences because our students do not receive Gmail accounts.
Jonathan West says
Creator or host control would be nice. Needs a type of “remove participant” button for the host.
That feature is already available. The creator of the meeting can remove participants.
Stephanie C says
It’s not working for us in our school district for some reason.
Sounds like extensions might be disabled in your district. Talk to your IT person.
Deborah K Fiedler says
THANK YOU! FINALLY some instructions that specify to manually mute the mic when in Google Meet. Been looking for an hour to verify. Haven’t been in a meeting yet where I could experiment both ways without it disrupting the meeting.
anthony wong says
Snap camera has some green screen capabilities as well as typical snap chat visuals. It can be a little glitchy on the animated visuals but the static ones like backgrounds weem to work fine.
Hello Anthony! Unfortunately, Snap Camera doesn’t work on a Chromebook! ?
Show us Chromebook users some love and I am happy to add Snap Camera to this list!
These are great for us teaching school online. Are we able to use more than 1 extension at a time per call?
Yes! I have them all installed.
Elodie Robert-Christensen says
Absolutely fantastic list THANK YOU
Just to let you know the link for duallist is not the right one!
Another useful and simple extension for Google meet is Google Meet Party Button – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-meet-party-button/mhkffmllohoiiflajcdmpkfdioknejhb?utm_source=youtube It allows you to share your joy during the meeting without interrupting the speaker
Mrs. Santiago says
These are awesome! Thank you! I’ve been looking unsuccessfully to find: is there a way to chat privately with students during a Google Meet class? So, if I’m asking a question to the class and I want to poll the class, is there a way that they can quickly and easily send me a message that the rest of the class can’t see? Looking for a solution so that there is a.) less fear of being seen giving a wrong answer in the chat and b.) not a few students giving the answer only for the rest of the class to copy it in the chat.
Unfortunately no. Google Meet doesn’t offer a private message option.
I would post a discussion question in Google Classroom and have students leave their reflection there.
You could also look at using Pear Deck to present a live lesson to students. They would submit their responses in Pear Deck which does have a private option.
Marie Snyder says
I’ve been making a quick poll using Google Forms – I put the link right in the Google Meet chat, and they response, then I can show the results immediately.
Yep, great strategy!
Jeannie R says
When trying Dualless, I noticed two things. First-when I click present, I no longer see my students. I just see the message that I am sharing my screen. Second, it showed the split screen for the other participant as well. What was I doing wrong?
You will want to set up Dualless BEFORE you click the present button.
When you do click present, select the window option so that you can select the window that has your presentation.
I recommend that you also install Grid View so that you can continue to see your students in the Meet window while you present.
Hi, Dualess is blocked on my macbook. How can I unblock it?
It sounds like a district setting. You will need to talk with your IT department.
Can you save the chat history for a particular meeting?
Also looking for a reverse camera effect, so that I can see all my students’ computer screens instead of their faces.
If you record the session, the chat log will be sent to you.
I recommend you take a look at Pear Deck to see what your students are working on in real-time.
Ellen Bernier says
Great info. Do you know if Google meet has or is working on a way to allow remote access to the screen being shared as Zoom does? Thanks!
Not with Meet, but checkout Chrome Remote Desktop.
Steph krammer says
Hi John, I saw you post something on FB about whiteboard, breakout rooms, improved moderator controls etc. Would you be able to provide me with where you found this? I’d love to read more into it …
This is my original source: https://support.google.com/a/table/7539891?hl=en
Bruce Glass says
how add chromebook extensions to my google classroom?
Extensions are added to the Chrome browser, not Google Classroom.
Some Chrome Extensions (like share to Classroom) work with Classroom.
Avdhoot Sant says
Nice List… Google meet is really helpful in such a pandemic situation for not only service men’s like us but students and teachers as well. I am worried why nod extension option is only applicable for desktop users for meet and not applicable to android users… Please release an extension for android users too…
Is there an extension to record?
The premium version of Meet includes the ability to record. Everyone has access to the premium edition of Meet through September 1, 2020.
You could use something like Screencastify to record your meeting.
I want to change the main black background/wallpaper during a conference on Google Meet (not my personal background). I would like to upload a picture of my business during a conference so that all the viewers can see that instead of a black background.
At the moment, you aren’t able to add a custom background.
Google is expected to release background blur and replace, but I don’t know if that includes the black background that appears when you disable your webcam.
Mute all on meet is there as a chrome extension for Google meet. Which helps in one click to mute all participants.
G. S. Bhamra says
Is the here any extension for Google Meet to share the selected portion of the screen like Zoom?
Not that I am aware of.
Nadra Wilkie says
Is there a way to move the participants to a separate window so I can slide them over to my other monitor?
Just drag the tab to your second monitor.
You can’t separate the participants from the Meet window.
Kari Serpa says
Is there an extension that allows me to turn the chat feature off?
No, but this feature will be available soon!
Do the students have to have these extensions on their computer too?
Tried to make a hyperlink for you, but clearly not working. Go to the Chrome Web Store search for Google Meet Attendees & Breakout Rooms.
why is my google meeting is logging of automatically in the middle?
Internet is fine, chromebook is just 10 months old. Started to use chromebook for school.
Does it happen regularly?
Terri Slaughter says
Students can take control of the meeting … is there an extension to prevent this and also to remove or block someone if they’re improperly accessing a class link–where is the ‘mute all’ button or is this an extension? thx.
A pending update to Google Meet will give the meeting creator (teacher) the ability to block screen sharing by students.
Is there a link to a whiteboard extension? I found information on it, but I cant seem to find the proper link. Thank you.
As a 6th grade teacher, these are fantastic additions. Thank you for the clear instructions. Is there an extension that allows me to prevent my students from sharing their screens? It appears that anyone in the meeting can share their screens at any point.
No extension, but a pending update to Google Meet will give the meeting creator (teacher) the ability to restrict screen sharing.
Tony Burns says
There needs to be mute button where students cannot unmute themselves.
A popular request.
Joanna Levitt says
Desperately need an “add co-host” on Meet. I am a teacher with teaching assistants, who sometimes run small groups and I am not in the Meet. They have no ability to Mute a student. It’s rough.
Yes, this is an issue. Only the meeting creator can mute someone.
Deborah Barnes says
If you are the moderator, are you able to give the muting and disconnecting controls in a google meet to someone else in the meet?
No, only the meeting creator has that ability.
Marie Snyder says
There’s a pretty good breakout room extension available now – see this for details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=167&v=DJaQ0REDVQE&feature=emb_logo
Marie Snyder says
And this video walks you through how to use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdhd0sCLqMQ&ab_channel=Mr.CampbellRocks
Melanie Smith says
I created a google meet using a nickname as our district has asked us to do for security reasons. I have no host controls! I cannot mute or remove anyone from the meeting. Is there a way to have host controls starting a meeting with a nickname?
Did you join the meeting using the same account that created it?
I would like to mention that Google Meet now supports breakout rooms. It also does Q&A and Polls.
yes, it sure does!
You’ll see some new posts hit my blog this week with details on all of the new features!
I want an extension where I can still see my full class without the present box in my meet =/
You will need to monitor: one for presenting and one for monitoring your students.
I also recommend the Grid View Chrome extension so that you can preview your screen while monitoring your students.
charmaine dsouza says
this is all cool
Tracey Armiger says
I would really like to be able to send a message to all Breakout rooms at the same time.
John R. Sowash says
I agree. This would be a nice feature.
Mary H. says
I currently use Zoom on a Chromebook but when I present, can only see 4 students at once. I am wondering if I switch over to Meet, can I see more than 4 students when I am presenting? Again, this is with a Chromebook. Thank you!
John R. Sowash says
Yes, You can see up to 49 students through Google Meet.
Mary H. says
Thank you so much!
Thank you I learn a new configuration on Chromebook thanks again man
There needs to be a setting to hide raised hands. Possibly even make it so that only the presenter sees them. We’re having a problem with 1) the popup is highly annoying to our sensory processing kid, and 2) kids seeking attention have learned that others see it. So kids (mine included) will just raise their hands and put them down repeatedly.
L. Klein says
I want the ‘send chat to hosts only’ like on Zoom. That would allow be to get student answers to a question without them seeing each others answers.
John R. Sowash says
Yes, that would be a nice feature.
If you have access to polling and Q&A (premium features) students can reply privately.
This is really helpful, thanks for sharing.