Google Workspace for Education Plus

Getting Started

Want to learn more about Google but not sure where to begin?

Gmail

In order for Gmail to open email links (such as “mail to:” or “email class” from Web4) you must first select Gmail as your email handler in your Chrome browser. Follow the instructions below to complete this process.

Google Calendar

Below are links to information showing the easiest ways to navigate your Google Calendar especially with common tasks such as sharing calendars, creating and responding to events and customizing your calendar view.

On your computer, follow these steps to open Google Calendar:

  1. Go to google.com and login if you haven't already
  2. Click the menu icon (nine squares in a 3x3 grid) in the right-hand corner
  3. Click the calendar icon
  4. Note: You can't share calendars from the Google Calendar phone app

Screenshot showing the location of the menu and calendar icons.

On the left, expand the My calendars section

Screenshot showing the location of My calendars.

Hover over the calendar you want to share then click on the menu icon, which is three vertical dots

Image showing the three vertical dots icon.

Screenshot showing the text and icon that display when you hover over a calendar.

Select Settings and sharing

Screenshot showing the location of Settings and sharing.

How to Share Your Calendar With Specific People

Click Share with specific people

Screenshot showing the location of Share with specific people.

Click Add people.

Screenshot showing the Add people button.

Add the person or Google group email address. Use the dropdown menu to grant them the appropriate permissions. Choosing See all event details allows them to see details for your calendar events (not just busy/free times).

Screenshot showing the See all event details permissions option.

Choosing Make changes to events allows them to make appointments for you.

Screenshot showing the Make changes to events option.

Click Send to email the people you've shared your calendar with, letting them know you've given them access to your calendar.

Note: After you've shared your calendar with someone, that person needs to Subscribe to it on the Settings page of their calendar.

How to Make Your Calendar Publicly Viewable

BE CAREFUL with Access permissions! Misconfiguring these settings can unintentionally make the contents of your calendar publicly viewable.

To broadly share your calendar, configure the settings under Access permissions. Select the appropriate check boxes and dropdown menu options based on:

  1. Who you want to share your calendar with, and
  2. How much information you want them to see

In the example below, everyone at Fitchburg State University can see free/busy times on the calendar, but they can't see any event details.

 

Screenshot showing the Access permissions settings.

Google Meet

If you have included external (non-FSU email) participants in your Google Meet, you will need to accept them into the meeting when prompted:

Screenshot showing the prompt to allow an external participant to join a Google Meet.

You can either send the invitation through your Google Calendar or separately. If you send them an invitation through your Google Calendar, you will be prompted to allow the invite to go out to an external participant email address:

Screenshot showing the message that appears when you add a non-FSU guest through Google Calendar.

  • Each individual participant can turn on captions for themselves during a meet.
  • For best connectivity and video clarity, a computer is the preferred device option. However, a phone or tablet can be used as well.
  • Muting all the microphones except for the speaker significantly enhances the quality of the call.
  • A Chrome browser is recommended for Google Meet.
  • When you want to record your lecture, yourself and/or work on the whiteboard, etc., you don't need to "present" your screen. If you present your screen and you record yourself, the screen will flip and your recording will display backwards.
  • If you are showing an item on your computer screen then select "present". Otherwise, to record your lecture, enter the Meet and record yourself speaking.
  • When presenting in a Meet and using PowerPoint presentation mode you will only be able to see your slides. If you prefer to see your slides and others on the call, minimize the presentation and the thumbnails on the left of your PowerPoint. This displays only one slide at a time; use your arrows to click through the slides as you are presenting (see photo below).
    Screenshot showing Google Meet presentation mode.

By default, only guests within Fitchburg State can view the live stream. In order to share the live stream with non-Fitchburg State participants, create a view-only event. The event is added to your Calendar and includes the link for view-only guests. You can add up to 100,000 view-only guests.

Have a fan running in the background? Traffic noise? A dog that likes to bark? Google can analyze the sounds you're transmitting and filter out everything except your voice. To turn this on when in a Google Meet:

  1. Click on the 3 vertical dots
  2. Choose "Settings"
  3. You'll see the option under the "Audio" tab

Image of the Google Meet noise cancellation setting.

You can toggle this on or off as needed—it retains whatever your last setting was.

If you have a busy background or want others to focus on you, you can select this option and it will blur the background around you. If you open the meet window (you can just type in "meet.google.com" in your Chrome browser, you can turn it on and off to see what it does. The icon appears in the lower right for me, and looks like:

Screenshot showing the Google Meet background blur icon.

You also have to have Google Chrome hardware acceleration turned on.

Why can’t I see the background blur button?

This feature requires Chrome hardware acceleration to be enabled to function properly. To turn it on, follow the steps below:

  1. Click Chrome Menu
  2. Select Settings or Preferences (depending on whether you're using Windows or MacOS)
  3. Select Advanced
  4. Select System 
  5. Turn on Use hardware acceleration when available
  6. Restart Chrome

In Google Meets with five or more participants, attendance reports can be sent to the meeting organizer after the meeting ends. During early access, attendance reports will be sent automatically.

Attendance reports are CSV files containing the names of all participants and key data such as each participant’s email, the length of time each participant was on the call and participants' initial join and exit times.

Example

Here's an example of the email the meeting host will receive:

Screenshot showing the email the Google Meet host will receive with the attendance tracking information.

Here's an example of the CSV file containing the attendance tracking data:

Screenshot showing the CSV file containing the Google Meet attendance tracking data.

The option Check your audio and video can be used to check your video and device quality before joining a Google Meet call:

Screenshot showing the location of the "Check your audio and video" link.

You can use this functionality to confirm that your devices are properly configured and corrected, to check that your network connectivity is good, and to understand the impact of noise cancellation on your audio. When a problem is detected, you’ll see a warning and tips for troubleshooting common issues, like granting your browser permission to use the microphone or camera.

Using this feature you can, for example, catch issues like:

  • An unintentionally muted microphone
  • A secondary display monitor with a missing headphone or speaker connection
  • Other audio issues, such as poor sound quality, audio that’s too loud, or your microphone amplifying background noises

You can now simultaneously see other participants and what you present on-screen. However, you can't interact with presentation content from the Google Meet meeting window. You can change slides or scroll through the document from the window you present.

Tips

  • For better presentations and to avoid mirroring, you should share your content from a different tab (strongly recommended) or window than the meeting window. If you need to share your entire screen, move your presentation to a different monitor if possible.
  • Unpin your presentation to view it as a tile so you can see additional participants.
  • Mute any audio in your presentation.
  • Remove a presentation from a meeting when someone joins only to present.

Polls and Q&As on Google Meet

New Q&A and Polling features in Google Meet allow meeting hosts to ask and answer questions and poll participants to get audience feedback and consensus. These features will be available exclusively for users in G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education plans once they are generally available.
  1. To use the Q&A feature (available to all meeting participants in the meeting), click the Activities icon in the top right corner of your meeting.
  2. Select "Q&A"
  3. If you are the moderator of the meeting, you must toggle "Allow questions" on to allow participants to ask questions in the meeting. This option is available in the Q&A panel. Note that by default, question submission will be disabled. 
  4. Participants can click "Ask a question", type the question, upvote questions, and click “Post”. 
  5. Moderators will be able to mark a question as answered, hide or delete a question.
  6. Following the meeting, if the Q&A feature was used, Moderators will receive an email linking to a Sheet with all Q&A data.
  1. To create a poll (note: only available to meeting moderators), click the Activities icon in the top right corner of your meeting.
  2. Select "Polls" and click "Start a Poll" to populate the fields with a polling question and multiple choice answers. 
  3. Once you've finished your poll, you can either Save it (to launch later) or press Launch to post immediately. 
  4. Once you've launched your poll, you can choose if you'd like everyone in the meeting to see the results or only allow the moderator to see the results. 
  5. Following the meeting, if the feature was used, moderators will receive an email linking to a Sheet with all polling data.

Breakout Rooms in Google Meet

Moderators have the ability to define up to 100 breakout rooms while on a call on a web browser. Participants can join their allocated breakout room, as well as move back and forth between their breakout room and the main room. Moderators have the ability to join individual breakout rooms and switch between them.
  1. Click on the top-right menu (activities) of the Meet call while on a web browser. Please note that this used to be on the bottom-right corner of the Meet call.
  2. Select the Breakout Rooms option
  3. Next, configure the rooms and participants
  4. Click the Create button to invite the participants to their corresponding rooms

Other Google Workspace for Education Plus Applications

Google Workspace for Education Plus is an impressive tool for use in higher education. It provides collaboration, ease and accessibility to both students and faculty.