Most grades in South African schools return on 6th July, and while institutions grapple with the regulations are far as sanitisation and social distancing are concerned, there is the matter of the curriculum to deal with. It was why many schools have turned to digital education platforms at this time, and one worth noting is Google Meet.

We’ve already seen it being used during lockdown by some schools to facilitate virtual classrooms, and now Google is adding more features to Meet in order to assist educators at this time.

The features specifically deal with Meet moderators, and will be made available for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users.

These include the ability to end a session so that no learner unnecessarily lingers on a call, as well as being able to mute all participants at the same time. This should certainly help educators control the virtual classroom if things get a little rowdy. Added to this is that a scheduled Meet will not start until the moderator arrives.

To further help with any disrupting students, those kicked out of a Google Meet will not be able to knock again in order to rejoin. Anonymous attendees will also be barred from joining a meeting, but there will be an opt-in option available to moderators in this regard.

Outside of the moderator-focused features, in terms of aesthetics, Google Meet is also adding the ability to change your background, with either preset or uploaded images. This ability has been something available via a Chrome browser extension, but has now been built into the videoconferencing platform.

There’s also a larger tiled view being added to the mix, which will cater for up to 49 participants at once.

All of the aforementioned features are set to rollout in coming weeks and months, and should certainly add increased control to virtual classrooms for teachers who are embracing digital education during COVID-19 and lockdown.