Google Meet Technology Tip

Google Meet Bandwidth detector (and how I’ve been using this on Zoom)

Google is rolling out a handy new tool for Workspace admins who use Google Meet to keep in touch with staff. Starting today, admins can see a record of participant bandwidth during meetings . So if you were hoping to fake a bad connection to get out of a meeting early, prepare to be called out.

The feature that lets me see the bandwidth of a student has been in Zoom for a while. It comes to Google Meet now.

I used to watch the bandwidth stats on our cyber campus and would proactively message the kids and parents for suggestions and to help them. I will say that when you know they don't have a bandwidth problem, it still becomes a “he said /she said” because so many don't understand bandwidth data.

I've seen kids dropping 10% of the conversation of a class hang on and still ace the course. I've also seen students with great connections seemingly hang up out of the blue. In the end, you have to trust parents and students. I would usually say things like, “let me look at the bandwidth data.” I would then share a layman's explanation of what I saw and ask for more information about where the student was, etc.

Sometimes a student moving closer to the router, or the router coming out of the closet and being put on a higher shelf has made a huge difference. I would say that 90% of the time the bandwidth data made a positive difference in my ability to help students. The other 10% of the time, it didn't matter what the data was, the only data that mattered was that a student wasn't in zoom and the parent wasn't able to monitor the situation. In this case, I always deferred to just giving students the benefit of the doubt and moved on. It did give me the luxury of knowing it wasn't on the end of the video conferencing tool and I could move on without worrying.

I do hope these stats will be helpful for those using Google Meet for distance learning.

Also remember, there are things we cannot know about the other side of a connection but we can use this to be helpful, not punitive. Nobody needs that.

Source: You can no longer fake a bad connection to get out of Google Meet calls

See also: Bandwidth is the Library Card of the Information Age

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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