Google had made Hangouts Meet Premium features available to all G Suite users earlier this month, to support employees, educators, and students as they moved to work and learn remotely due to the coronavirus spread. Now that the rampant social distancing has made remote learning and work from home much more widespread, a new Hangouts Meet update from Google improves the learning experience and gives more authority to teachers and HODs who are taking classes or heading meetings via Google Hangouts Meet.

The update to Hangouts Meet were announced on a G Suite Updates blog post. The first change Google has brought to Hangouts Meet caters towards giving more control to teachers and HODs who are taking meetings and classes online, as it only allows the ‘meeting creator’ or ‘Calendar event owner’ to mute or remove participants. This feature will ensure that teachers, as meeting creators cannot be removed or muted by students participating in the Hangouts┬ácall.

The other change is that users, under certain conditions, cannot re-join nicknamed meetings once the final participant has exited. Following are the conditions that will restrict users from re-joining meetings:

  • If the meeting was created using a short link like g.co/meet/nickname
  • If the meeting was created at meet.google.com by entering a nickname in the ‘Join or start a meeting’ field
  • If the meeting was created in the Hangouts Meet app by entering a nickname in the ‘Meeting Code’ field

These conditions will also make sure that a teacher or an HOD, whoever is heading a meeting or a class, will be the last person to leave these types of meetings, and that students cannot join later without the teacher.

These changes from Google are only available for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education. They make sure that there are no unsupervised meetings online or that students are not able to enter a chat that lacks a teacher. The update, according to Google is rolling out now and the changes will be live throughout within two to three weeks.

Google had earlier this month, announced the free access to Hangouts Meet video conferencing capabilities for all G Suite users globally. The free access will be available to everyone till July 1, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had announced.

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