In light of COVID-19, many students around the world are turning to remote learning. Google at the start of this month made premium Hangouts Meet features available to all G Suite customers. An update today makes tweaks to improve the education experience and ensure teachers have control over Hangouts Meet calls.

The first change sees that only the “meeting creator, Calendar event owner, or person who creates a meeting on an in-room hardware device” is able to mute or remove participants.

This ensures a teacher, as a meeting creator or Calendar event owner, can’t be removed or muted by students participating in the event.

G Suite admins are advised to assign meeting creation privileges to faculty, with the option to prevent students from initiating also available.

Meanwhile, users cannot re-join nicknamed meetings once the final participant has left if:

  • The meeting was created using a short link like g.co/meet/nickname
  • The meeting was created at meet.google.com by entering a meeting nickname in the “Join or start a meeting” field
  • The meeting was created in the Meet app by entering a nickname in the “Meeting code” field

This ensures that students are not able to enter an unsupervised call that lacks a teacher. The two changes are only available to G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Rolling out now, the new controls will be live within 2-3 weeks.

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