Persevering and Forging forward with Google Meet – Message from the Coordinating Principal

Dear Students, Teachers, Parents and Well Wishers,

Hope you all are keeping well and safe during this very challenging pandemic time in our country. The new academic year started on 23rd of August 2021. Both students and teachers are doing their utmost to learn and teach despite all pandemic related challenges. It is indeed heartening to see that learning continues at our school despite the disruptions in education in public schools currently.

With the pandemic that started in March 2020 continuing relentlessly we all have had to adapt to the so called “new norm”. Businesses and schools are forced to transact and learn using various online means. Our school too underwent this transition. Last year we were on WhatsApp for a few weeks, then we moved in to Google classroom along with Zoom. Zoom was indeed good in terms of flexibility and usage. However along with time and experience we observed that they were certain features lacking in terms of child safety that might be very important for us as children’s safety takes precedence over all other factors for us at Wycherley, Gampaha.

To this end with effect from September 2021 we have trained all relevant stakeholders and we have fully embraced Google Classroom along with Google Meet. Google Meet is a video communication service developed by Google. When teachers use Meet for learning, they can: start and join video meetings in Classroom using a dedicated link for their classes, use moderation features to control participation, get attendance reports, start a video meeting from Gmail and control access to video meetings. Further we can prevent unwanted guests from entering the meeting with safety locks and automatic blocking of anonymous attendees, eject people from the meeting and manage requests to join in bulk, end meetings for everyone and prevent them from rejoining the call without the host present, control who can use the chat or present features, mute individual participants or everyone at once, apply safety settings across our domain and get insights into how students and staff are using Meet at our school with the Admin console, include up to 100 participants and see a tiled view of up to 49 participants, make classes more inclusive with live captions available in a range of languages, encourage active participation with virtual hand raising and digital whiteboards, experience high-quality video and audio across operating systems and devices (even optimized for low-bandwidths and dark environments) and integrates seamlessly with Classroom and other Google Workspace for Education products to make joining and presenting easy. It also ensures high-quality video even during high demand with an infrastructure that supports billion-user services like Google Search, YouTube and Gmail, staying secure with automatically-encrypted data, support compliance with rigorous education standards including COPPA, FERPA, and GDPR and above all Meet is completely ad-free and will never share ours’ or our students’ personal information.

Good luck to all with learning online safely and efficiently with Google Meet! Stay safe and remain positive as a better and brighter future is ahead!

Mr.Malith Kumarasinghe (MBA[UK], BA (Hons [UK])

Coordinating Principal

Wycherley International School, Gampaha

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