Get to Know Google Meet

Get to know Google Meet and become an expert on scheduling calls, joining video meetings, and getting the most out of the tool.

Originally published on June 16, 2020 

Online classes and meetings? No problem. Connect with students, instructors, and peers through secure video calls and messaging in Google Meet. Google Meet is a video conferencing tool that lets you collaborate one-on-one or in a group to chat, share links, whiteboard and present your screen. jonny-caspari-kuuddjbhila-unsplash-1.jpg

As most courses will be online during the 2020/21 academic year, it’s best to familiarize yourself with video conferencing tools most commonly used at the University of Alberta. Google Meet is one tool in use; read about other common tools like Zoom for Students and Zoom for Instructors.

New Updates

Think you have mastered all that Meet has to offer, check out these exciting new features added by Google over the last several months!

Here’s what you need to know to get started with Google Meet:

Top Tips

  • Anyone with the Meet link can participate, no account is required
  • Add Meet to a calendar invite to quickly join your next meeting with video
  • Mute your microphone if you’re participating as a listener
  • Change the screen layout to suit your preference
  • Join on the go with the Google Meet app (Android/iOS)

Schedule a video meeting with a calendar invite

Adding Google Meet to a calendar invite is simple and ensures your next study session or one-on-one meeting with isn't complicated. 

In Google Calendar, click Create. Add your event details and guests. Click on the Add Google Meet video conferencing button and click Save.

calendar invite

Tip: External participants (no account required) can join with the Google Meet link only after granted access by a UAlberta G Suite participant in the meeting.

Join a video meeting

Joining a Google Meet from an existing calendar invitation is as simple as selecting Join with Google Meet from within the calendar invite. You also have the option to join a Google Meet through or when sent a Google Meet through Google Chat.

In Google Calendar, open Event. Click Join with Google Meet. Click Join now.


Use a phone for audio in a video meeting

If you have a poor Internet connection or are experiencing quality issues, you can adjust the video and audio settings to improve your experience.

Another option is to join a Google Meet by phone. However, dial-in numbers for Google Meet use US area codes only and long distance charges may apply. If you do not have a US long distance plan, you can:

Get to know the interface

In a Meet call you can manage your video and audio, and pin a participant. Turn your video on or off depending on what you prefer. You also have the option of muting yourself during a call if you are mainly participating as a listener.


Switch to a different view

Select from auto, tiled, spotlight, or sidebar views. Sidebar shows you the primary speaker with additional meeting attendees on the right hand side. Tiled view shows you a large number of attendees — up to 49 at once! Spotlight focuses on the primary speaker.


Tip: When you choose a new layout, your preference is automatically saved. To return to the default layout, click Auto.

Share and present during a video meeting

Present your entire screen, a specific browser window or a Chrome tab. While presenting, you can share documents, present slides, or show video.

Tip: Presenting from a Chrome tab is best when presenting video and animation. Want to give more interactive and engaging presentations? Check out these 10 G Suite tips for great presentations.

Send chat messages to participants

Use the chat window to ask questions, comment and share links. Sending chat messages is an effective way to submit questions during a meeting without interrupting the speaker (Q&A session).

Tip: If you want participants to edit a Google file, make sure you have shared the file with the proper permissions.

chat window

Raise your hand

If you have questions through your meeting you have the option of typing your question in the chat window or raising your hand. Using the Raise Hand icon alerts those in the meeting that you have a question and would like to speak. Once you’ve asked your question, don’t forget to lower your hand!

Did You Know?

Google Meet premium features

The U of A's agreement with Google is for G Suite Education. Meet premium features (e.g. Breakout rooms or up to 250 participants) are available only with G Suite Enterprise for Education. 

Personal consumer Google accounts

Additionally, there are some Meet limitations with a personal consumer Google account that do not apply to UAlberta Google accounts (e.g. 60 min video meeting limit and requiring a Google account to join as a participant). 

Learn more about the difference between core vs. consumer Google apps here: Core Apps and Consumer Apps


Keep an eye on IST’s Google news to learn the latest tips, tricks, and updates for UAlberta Google. Additional information about how to use Google Meet can be found at the Google Meet Learning Center.