Google Hangouts Meet now Google Meets [per Google and The Verge] has launched a couple of new tools to encourage remote learning for both teachers and students. Google, in a blog post announced these new features as well as emphasising on a couple of new privacy measures being put in place to make the service safe for all.
Going forward, the following measures/features have now been added to make Google Meet safe for all users:
- Going forward, only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants. This ensures that instructors cannot be removed or muted by student participants.
- Only meeting creators and calendar owners can approve requests to join made by external participants. This means that students can’t allow external participants to join via video, and that external participants can’t join before the instructor.
- Meeting participants cannot rejoin nicknamed meetingsonce the final participant has left. This means if the instructor is the last person to leave a nicknamed meeting, students can’t join later without the instructor present.
Google is probably taking advantage of the current stay home measures being practised by countries and organizations across the world. The stay home policy is being encouraged by the COVID-19 pandemic currently forcing employees and businesses to work remotely.
The rebrand is still a work in progress as the new name has not reflected in any of the app stores—Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai advised all employees of the company in Africa, Europe, Middle East and North America to work from home to further stop the spread of the coronavirus. This, according to Pichai should be seen as part of their contribution to social distancing.
The recommendation from Google to affected members of staff in those regions took effect from the day the announcement was made, and is will last until at least April 10th [this Friday].
Google’s offices in North America however, remained open to workers just in case they need to be physically present for their job. Similar rule is applicable to other regions including Africa, Middle East and Europe.
All Google vendors and temporary staff around the world would be given paid sick leave if there is need to take time off because of the coronavirus through a new fund announced by the company last month.
Late January, Google announced the temporary closure of its offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Since the outbreak of the deadly virus in China, tech companies have been making frantic efforts to protect staff and also sensitize members of the public on how to avoid getting infected.