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Center for Teaching and Learning
What about using Zoom instead of Google Hangouts Meet?
  • Free Zoom License: Zoom offers a free license which allows up to 100 participants but limits meeting time to 40 minutes with three or more total participants (Note: Zoom has temporarily lifted its 40-minute time limit for free licenses for people who have .edu email addresses). 
  • USNA has acquired a one year Zoom for Education license for 100 hosts. Each host can have unlimited meetings and each meeting supports up to 300 participants. Please contact Dr. Julie Zhu ( if you are in need of a Zoom for Education license. 

Zoom Help Document

Can we record a session in Google Hangouts Meet?

Google Hangouts Meet does allow for recording. Once you are in the meeting room, click on the three dots (More options) at the lower right hand corner of the meeting room next to the "Present Now" icon, and click on "Record Meeting". Once you are done recording, go to the same menu to "Stop Recording". The recordings will be saved to your Google Drive in a folder called "Meet Recordings" (Note, it may take a while for the recordings to be processed). 

It is also possible to use Panopto to record your session. Also, see for a built-in Windows 10 resource for screen recording (to use on your personal computers, not the government issued ones) or which has been used by Matt Schell in the MechE department. 

If you would like more specific guidance, please stop by CTL for individual help!

Can we use the class email list (i.e., to invite students to a Google Hangouts Meet session through Google Calendar?

Yes. On the edit event page in Google Calendar, just type the course email list name into the ‘Add guests’ section under the meeting announcement. See this video tutorial for starting a Google Hangouts Meet meeting via Google Calendar. 

How do I share my screen when using Google Hangouts Meet?

When the lower bar with options is showing, there is a ‘Present Now’ button. If you click on this you have the option to share your entire screen or just a window (with a Powerpoint display, a document, spreadsheet, etc.). See this video tutorial for using Google Hangouts Meet.

Is there a way for participants (other than the host) to share their screens with the entire group while using Google Hangouts Meet?

Yes. Any participant in the meeting has access to the ‘Present Now’ button in the lower bar. If a participant has a particular participant ‘pinned’ that screen will always be displayed, despite another person selecting the ‘Present Now’ button. See this video tutorial for using Google Hangouts Meet.

Can I display a smart phone, in addition to the computer screen when using Google Hangouts Meet?

Yes. However, each device must be logged in as a separate ‘participant.’ For example, if you want to be able to display your computer for Powerpoint and use your phone to display handwritten notes, you can host the meeting on your computer and then join the meeting on your phone. You can place your phone in such a position to record your writing. See Amy Ksir’s clever set up shown in the picture below.

If you would like more specific guidance, please stop by CTL for individual help!

Present handwritten notes

Can I display the document camera when If I am using Google Hangouts Meet?

Yes, with a few caveats. The document camera must be one of the newer models (Elmo TT-12 – see picture below) and it must be connected to the computer using a ‘mini usb to usb’ cable. Most classrooms are not set up with this capability. If you happen to be in a classroom with this model of document camera connected to the instructor computer, you can switch to the document camera by clicking "More" (three dots) in the lower-right corner of the meeting screen, and then select “Settings >> Video” and select the document camera from the "Camera" pull down menu. See this video tutorial for using Google Hangouts Meet.

If you don't have a document camera, you can download an app called EpocCam to your smartphone and use it as a document camera. 

doc camera

How long does the chat discussion in a Google Hangouts Meet session last? Can students see all previous comments or do they disappear once the comments scroll off the screen?

The chat comments remain throughout the duration of the meeting and students can scroll up to previous comments at any time. Note: messages sent before you joined are not displayed, and all messages disappear when you leave the meeting.

What are the layout options for Google Hangouts Meet?

The different layout options can be accessed by clicking "More" (three dots) in the lower-right corner of the meeting screen, and then select "Change layout". See this video tutorial for using Google Hangouts Meet.

Can I include attachments in the Google Hangouts Meet invitation?

Yes! When you create the invitation you can provide comments and add attachments in the ‘Add description’ box. When you create recurring events, you can attach attachments to a specific event and the attachments can be different for different events within the recurring events. See this video tutorial for starting a Google Hangouts Meet meeting via Google Calendar. 

How do students access attachments in Google Hangouts Meet once the session has started?

During the session, there is a ‘Meeting details’ button in the lower bar with an up arrow. If the participant clicks on this button there are the ‘Details’ of the meeting and another tab labeled ‘Attachments’. Any attachments included in the original meeting invitation can be accessed during the meeting from this tab. See this video tutorial for using Google Hangouts Meet.

What is the absolute simplest (bare-bones) configuration to use Google Hangouts Meet to teach a class?

Invite your students to the meeting through Google Calendar and use the audio and video feature to see and talk with your students. You can use the laptop camera or web cam to show paper or handwriting.

Can we show a video to the class through the Google Hangouts Meet session or should students view the video offline?

It would be best to have the students watch the video prior to ‘class’ or to have them switch to watch the movie on their own browser (rather than displaying it on the host computer and video it to all participants). This will minimize issues with lags in viewing.

What should students do if they experience a drop-out during a session?

Let your students know that if they get bumped out of the session they can just click on the link and rejoin.

Does Google have the capacity (bandwidth, in particular) for supporting all the universities shifting to online teaching right now? What should I do if the connection is too poor or slow to be effective?

We will see. We are not the first university to shift to using the video conferencing approach to teaching and (so far!) there have been no large complaints about insufficient bandwidth. Fingers-crossed everything works for us!

However, we have all experienced that class where we were expecting to use the projector or watch a video and things didn’t go as planned. So, it is never a bad idea to have a back-up plan. This will be a trial-and-error process, but USNA faculty have shown an amazing ability to make things work and this will just be a more challenging version of the same!

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