Text Chat too!
This is where the combining of Google Hangouts and Google Chat really start to shine! Students who do not have a working microphone can communicate during the lesson with the chat feature – AND – when you’re done, (if you recorded the session), a transcript of the chat will be automatically saved to your Google Drive.
When you click on the text chat, a sidebar will open up on your screen where you can type to your students and they can type back to you. Or they can type to each other.
Depending on the level of literacy of your students, the chat bar can be designated for whatever purposes you, the teacher, decide.
In a recent U of A class using Google Meet, the undergraduate students used it for students who did not have a microphone. When you switch to a different window in present mode, you can no longer see the chat. Students without a mic would type their questions or comments and a student with a microphone would read it aloud.
Remember – if you record the session, you get a document containing all contents of the chat at the end of the session, so don’t stress yourself to be in contact via chat and video. Focus on the video. You can deal with the chat contents later!
You know your class(es) best. In some, it might work to have a “chat monitor” – it keeps that idea of “classroom helper” alive. If students are using the chat in a way that goes against the Digital Citizenship requirements that you are going to put forth (more on that in the next module), it can be their job to turn their mic on and notify you of the breach of agreement.