Since 2020, virtual meetings have become popular.
And Google Meet is among the most preferred app for those.
In fact, on average…
Over 100 million people use this app on a daily basis.
And if you’re among them…
You’ve likely had some privacy concerns.
And I’m here to address them.
Keep reading to learn:
- Everything that a host can do in a Google Meet session.
- An easy way to find out if your teacher is watching your screen on Google Meet.
- Whether Meet has a feature that allows teachers to view their students’ screens.
- And a lot more…
Can teachers see your screen on Google Meet?
How to know if your teacher sees your screen on Google Meet
To know if your teacher sees your screen on Google Meet, check the upper left portion of your monitor. If you see a note saying that you’re currently sharing your screen, it means your teacher can see it. But you can just press the Stop button to close it.
It’s normal to feel a bit paranoid when it comes to technology.
For instance, I know many who are concerned that their Alexa might get hacked. And that it becomes a tool for spying.
And those concerns are valid. Gadgets and apps have advanced tremendously in recent years, after all.
However, when it comes to the Meet app…
Privacy is of the utmost importance for Google
That’s why your teacher won’t be able to view your screen unless you share it.
And with Google Meet, the process of doing that takes several steps.
To give you an idea, here’s how to show your screen to others on the Meet app:
Step #1: Click the Present Now icon on the screen’s lower right portion.
Step #2: Select which part of the screen you’d like to share. It could be any of the following:
- A window.
- A Chrome tab.
- Your entire screen.
Step #3: A new window should pop up. Confirm your selection by pressing the Share button.
Your teacher and classmates should then be able to see your screen. And you’ll see a button on the upper left of your display that’ll allow you to stop it.
So as you can see…
The way for others to view your monitor involves pressing multiple buttons.
That’s why there’s no such thing as “accidentally” sharing your screen in Google Meet.
You’ll have to go out of your way to perform all 3 steps for that to happen.
So you should be able to rest assured knowing that your privacy is secure when using Meet.
But to ease up your concern even more…
Let me share with you the exact things that your teacher can and can’t do in a Meet session.
9 things that a host is allowed to do on Google Meet
#1: Present to everyone in the meeting
The foremost purpose of the Google Meet app is virtual discussions.
So naturally, teachers or hosts have the ability to present.
They could play a video. They can show a PowerPoint presentation. And they can even share their entire screen for everyone to see.
Of course, this option isn’t limited to the host.
As I’ve mentioned, every Meet participant can share their own screen as well.
Now, if you’d like to see how easy it is to present on Google Meet…
Watch this video:
#2: Mute individual or entire participants
In a classroom, there will always be loud students who interrupt the flow of discussions.
And in real life, it’s much harder for teachers to stop them.
But in Google Meet, all it takes is a click of a button.
That’s because the hosts also have the ability to mute participants.
Now, there’s an option to only silence particular people.
But there’s also a way to turn off everyone’s microphone at once.
And participants won’t be able to switch their mic back on without the host’s permission.
#3: Turn off everyone’s video
Even after muting students…
It’s still possible for them to create distractions. And that’s through their video screen.
That’s why Google eventually added a Lock Video function for the host.
This feature gives your teacher the ability to close all students’ video cameras.
And like the Mute function…
When your host locks your video, you won’t be able to turn it back on. That’s unless your teacher allows you to.
#4: Add or remove participants during a meeting
In the early days of Google Meet…
Any random individual could have crashed a meeting. It was possible because there wasn’t a safeguard yet to prevent that from happening.
But as Google beefed up the Meet app’s security…
The company also added a feature that gives the host power to add or remove participants.
So now, before you can join a Google Meet session…
The host will have to accept your request to enter.
And just as easily as they can let you in…
They can also kick you out in an instant.
#5: See the complete list of meeting participants
Now, this feature isn’t just exclusive to the meeting host.
Everyone can see who’s actually in the meeting.
There’s an option to view the complete list of participants. And you and your teacher can also see who’s present by switching to Tile View.
It’s a great feature because it allows the teacher to check attendance easily.
#6: Break participants into separate groups
Your teacher, the host, also has the option to create breakout rooms.
It’s where participants are split up into smaller units.
And from there, they can have group discussions.
The host also has the ability to go from one breakout room to another to monitor what’s happening.
And they can end the breakout room session at any time as well.
This is an excellent feature to use when there are too many students in a Google Meet class.
#7: Assign a co-host
Speaking of too many students…
It can be hard to moderate when there are a lot of participants in a session.
That’s why Google also added a feature where the host can pick a co-host.
The selected participant will then have the power to do the same things as the main host.
#8: Send chat messages to everyone
It’s easy to just call out the student’s attention on Google Meet.
However, if the teacher wants to do it privately, there’s an option for that.
The main host may also send a private message to every individual in the session.
In addition, the host can also blast a group message for everyone to read.
#9: End the meeting for all
And finally, your teacher can also close the meeting for everyone.
Before 2021, a Google Meet session can continue long before the host had left.
Now, that option still exists today.
But the host also now has the ability to eject everyone and end the meeting at once.
And when that happens…
The participants won’t be able to re-start the session.
So if you wish to continue interacting with your classmates after the virtual class…
You’ll have to create a new meeting altogether.
3 things that a host isn’t allowed to do on Google Meet
#1: View a participant’s screen without permission
When the pandemic took place and virtual classes became popular…
The 1 concern by students is their teacher might be able to monitor their screen.
As a matter of fact, this isn’t just limited to teachers and students.
Employees whose company uses Google Meet also worry about that. Some are afraid their boss might catch them browsing other sites while the meeting is going on.
Now, to be fair, privacy is a legitimate concern with apps like Meet and Zoom.
But let me tell you this right now. Your boss or teacher has no ability to view your screen unless you share it yourself.
And I don’t believe Google Meet will ever add that option.
It’s an invasion of one’s privacy. And the tech company can get into legal trouble if it includes a feature like that.
But of course, this doesn’t mean you’re now free to do what you want in a Google Meet session.
It’s always best to pay attention at all times. It’s a sign of respect for your teacher or boss. And it’s also for your own good, as you get to learn more.
#2: Turn on a muted microphone
While hosts can switch off the participants’ microphones on Meet…
They’re not allowed to turn them back on.
The best that the host can do is ask the participants to enable their mic back.
And if they refuse…
There’s absolutely nothing the host would be able to do about it.
So in other words, your teacher won’t be able to force you to speak up if you don’t want to.
#3: Force anyone to turn on their camera
In connection with the previous entry…
The Google Meet hosts are also not allowed to turn on the participants’ cameras.
They can only lock videos to prevent others from switching their camera on.
But it’s not possible the other way around. So no one can make you show your face to the camera if you’re not comfortable.
Again, it’s another privacy-related matter. And it’s proof that it’s a major priority for Google.
So the next time you use Google Meet…
Be confident in knowing that your privacy is fully protected.