Engaging & Interactive Google Meets

Written by Eric Hills

Last published at: May 28th, 2021

Whether you are a Shakopee Online teacher or an IHD teacher, knowing how to host an interactive lesson online is a skill we should all have in our tool belts. I'm sure we’ve all experienced a Google Meet by now and we can all recognize how different the experience is leading a class virtually compared to being in person. Even from a distance, we can still do the best practices we know and use in the classroom face to face such as workshop model, formative assessment, feedback, conferring, and group work. Below is a compilation of different tools and ideas on how to make your Google Meets into engaging and collaborative experiences for your students.

Google Meet Basics

Knowing your video conferencing software is the place to start! Below is an FAQ with videos and resources to help you. These questions are based on our experiences working with Shakopee Online teachers. The number one question we get is, “how do I present my screen and see my students at the same time?”

Google Meet Frequently Asked Questions:

Ways to Use Google Meet Breakout Rooms:

The Breakout Rooms feature has been a game changer! Teachers have been using it to randomly do peer editing, they’ve created different rooms for quiet work, collaboration, and conferring, and they’ve been used for collaborative games like Kahoot! If you plan to bring students back a specific time, you can use this online timer that allows all students to know the exact time they should return to the main room and to stay on track with their group work tasks. 

Interactive Tools to Try:

Now that you know more about how you can use Google Meet, consider how you and your students could use the following tools to interact, complete formative assessments, and practice independently. If you have questions or want more support in trying to implement any of these tools in your classroom, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Digital Learning Coaches!

Pear Deck: Take your Google Slides, add formative assessment questions, and share those results with class! It’s very easy to insert into existing slides you already use.

Kahoot: Live formative assessment tool. Use it to preview an upcoming unit or review a unit before a summative assessment. Students will need to be able to see their teacher’s screen and their own so be sure to practice this with students (video).

Quizizz: Live formative assessment tool. Students can complete these games as homework assignments or live in a Google Meet.

Quizlet Live: Take a set of flashcards in Quizlet and allow students to compete individually or as teams to match terms to their definitions. If you plan to go as teams, you’ll want to use Breakout Rooms

Doozy: It’s very similar to Kahoot or Quizizz but it allows you to have students type answers, then grade them if they didn’t spell it exactly right. It gives you better data than multiple choice questions.

Desmos: Not just for solving math equations, Desmos can be used to create simple slideshows and insert formative assessments. It also has a unique card sort activity that is great for categorization assignments.

Padlet: You’ve probably used it before but Padlet is a digital corkboard that allows people to post all sorts of media. Posts can be arranged in columns (for compare and contrast activities) or as a free form wall like Pinterest. Students can also like, comment, and upvote each other’s posts. 

Edji: Edji is a collaborative text annotation tool. It allows you to create a reading, assign it to students, and then they can comment using text, audio or emoji. After students have had a chance to comment, teachers can turn on “heat vision” allowing students to see each other’s comments and highlights. The darker the color red, the more people highlighted. Click here for a detailed blog.

Jamboard: You may have seen the video above that allows you to use Jamboard within a Google Meet. Jamboard is like a simplified version of Google Slides that allows students to collaborate on a whiteboard. They can add text, post-it notes, drawings, and images. It can be used for simple formative assessments like fist to five or students can use it to create their own presentations.

Whiteboard.fi: This tool allows the teacher to create a “room” that they invite students to. Then each student gets their own whiteboard to draw on for purposes such as solving a math problem or drawing a diagram. The teacher has a board that all students can view and a dashboard that allows them to see the whiteboards of all their students in the class. This tool is super simple and easy to get started with. It is recommended that the teacher uses it on their iPad so it’s easier to draw.

Whiteboard.chat: This tool is similar to whiteboard.fi but has a way more features! For example, you can insert a PDF or image into the background and students can draw on top of it to answer questions and the teacher can see their responses in real time as they work independently. Click here to watch a detailed video.