Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Google for Education Enterprise Features Leaving Basic Accounts

Remember a few months ago when Google extended advanced features to all users in G Suite for Education? Today is September 30, 2020 which means those advanced features are going away unless your school pays for premium access. So what does this mean for you? If your school uses the basic G Suite accounts, the following things will change: 
  • Meeting Size: 250 participants (premium), 100 participants (free)
  • Live Streaming: up to 100k viewers (premium only)
  • Recording to Google Drive: premium only
If you are losing these features, there are some free alternatives to consider. These are not perfect options, but they are free. Please check with your school's administration before doing anything to make sure you are following local policies for student privacy and protection.

If you want to record your class session or meeting, Google Meet will no longer have the option directly. You can however use a screen recording program such as Loom. Loom's education license is free and offers some great features. When you record, make sure you have checked "use system audio" to record the sound from your Google Meet call. Otherwise, you will see the video and only hear your own microphone, not the other participants.

As you know, when you screen share on a Google Meet, your screen changes and the screen's format will change. Or if you go to open up the participants/chat columns, the screen will change. I recommend if you can, use a spare computer to record. Just join the call from the second device, turn the devices mic and camera off, and hit record. This will record the Google Meet as a passive participant. If you don't have a second device just be aware of what is showing on your screen as you record.

Live Streaming
There are options such as Stream Yard which is very user friendly. The free version will leave a "Powered by StreamYard logo in the upper right corner of your stream and recording. It will connect to YouTube, Facebook, or other platforms to stream but can be set as private and/or unlisted so that it's not publicly available. Most other live streaming options will also require you to share the live stream via a third party. Additional limitations of the free version of Stream Yard include limited participation of guests.

I'd be happy to help you and your school find free alternatives to these premium features, so please leave a comment or DM me if you have any questions.

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