Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom? — All the Ways to Talk to Teachers and Learners Online Pt. 1

Never could my 6-year-old self have imagined that this would become the reality 40 years later.

But here we are.

The Jetsons Realized.

Aside from Facetiming or Skyping family members (and one Zoom session with my extended fam two years ago) I really haven’t had to talk to large groups in real time. But that is about to be the norm. So let’s talk about the various ways kids will be talking to their teachers, and teachers will be talking to their learners.

For Live Meetings in education it’s boiling down to Zoom vs. Google Hangouts Meet.  Here’s an online review from Business Insider written yesterday:

It sounds like both work well, Zoom has a free version and is offering Zoom edu free now, and Google Meet is free if you are a Google District — although I must admit that I see more teachers in my nationwide teaching online groups using Zoom because it seems to have more capabilities for the teachers to mute and gives the kid less access to messing around with the controls. Although I just read that Google Meets just fixed that THIS WEEK.

So, it’s kind of a toss up as of today, March 21, 2020.

One teacher in one of my groups said: “Zoom -easier to use….GMeet- u can record meeting and it saves to ur drive. Con with GM is my kids couldn’t sign in with their school domain. They had to sign in using a personal google email even though they were accessing the GM link through google classroom.”

So hopefully, Google Districts are making it so that kids can use their district sign in to use it. Otherwise, Zoom might be a better option.

Below are tutorials for both programs. If you are a teacher or a parent of a student, I suggest you go set up accounts at both places and be prepared to use either or both in the coming days and months. 

Google Hangouts Meet — How to and Facts

In my school district here in Grand Junction, Colorado — we are a Google District. Every student and teacher has an account already. We already use those programs daily, and it’s easy to just go look in the top right hand corner of a Google Web Page and CLICK on Google Meet. Here’s a screenshot of my computer. See the Eight little Squares in the upper righthand corner of your Google Page? Click and look for the VIDEO CAMERA ICON that says “MEET” — here’s what it looks like:


Here’s a HOW TO USE GOOGLE HANGOUTS MEET Step by Step for Teachers/Parents:

And here’s a VIDEO TUTORIAL — a little outdated but will get you started:

(I will create a STUDENT CHEAT SHEET for Google Hangouts tonight and post it here. Stay tuned!!!!)

So if you are going to be recording lessons, you might want to work in Flipgrid or Seesaw — but those limit videos to five minutes. If you need to record something longer … Check this out:

Here’s how to RECORD YOURSELF TEACHING on Google Meet. Apparently, you can record yourself, it does straight to your Google Drive, and then you can either invite kids to watch via email, OR copy and paste the link and put it in a central location, like your Google Classroom so kids can easily watch longer videos.


Apparently, Google Meet doesn’t have a Whiteboard option like Zoom, but I found somebody explaining how to put one into your recordings here:

And here is How you Share your SCREEN with learners here:


Other Things to Know:

You should be using GOOGLE CHROME as your web browser when using Meet. 

• Here’s a tutorial on how to do Screen Share in Google Hangouts Meet if you want to share your screen and not just talk:

Also, don’t confuse Google Hangouts Meet with Google Hangouts Chat — a different program. There are options for both in the Google Menu. 


Next ….. How to Use Zoom

and in Education ……. here’s a HOW TO VIDEO here:

Also, the TECHIE TEACHER — a great Tech resource online has created STUDENT HOW TO USE ZOOM Sheets here:

I also saw that if you don’t have a document camera, you could do a hack with a phone while connected to Zoom. It’s here:


Also, Commonsense Media has some advice on using LIVE interfaces with kids. In a nutshell, they say make sure you are watching how kids are using Google Hangouts and Zoom, always keeping a watchful eye online predator possibilities down the road. Don’t freak because I said online predators!!!!! Remember, this is something we as parents have to contend with ANYTIME our kids play games or go online … or now with sex trafficking, even when they go outside. So don’t let this keep you and your child away form using live meeting apps. They will be a necessity for schooling this spring.

Your kids need to hear their teachers voices (as well as their classmates) in LIVE TIME during these uncertain times. It’s important.

But you can read this and be informed about letting your kiddos venture out into these programs here:


LASTLY …… I want to talk about Fligrid and Seesaw, Google Classroom, Padlet and Nearpod and Wakelet and SO many programs that will become commonplace for education in a month.


Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.



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