For thousands of educators, school is back in full swing whether that be in-person or through non-traditional online means. Our local school district has offered two options in light of the ongoing pandemic. These include a hybrid schedule the blends a mixture of in-person and remote learning. The other option, that we personally chose, is the online learning academy. My daughter attends online classes four days a week on her Chromebook in lieu of attending classes at the school. All-in-all, the transition has been relatively smooth but it is clear that teachers are having to learn an entirely new way of educating when it is done digitally. My daughter’s class has nearly 30 students and one teacher who must wrangle the rambunctious second graders via Google Meet and it is often an overwhelming task.
The good news is, diversity creates innovation. Developers -many of whom are educators- have risen to the occasion and created third-party tools to aid and assist teachers in making the most out of the Google Meet platform. We highlighted some of these tools a couple of weeks ago. These third-party Chrome extensions include Push to talk, hand-raising, and attendance taking. This week, I received an email from two aspiring young developers who have added another useful Attendance extension into the mix for teachers to use with Google Meet.
Attendance for Google Meet
As the name states, this extension takes attendance in Google Meet video chats. It was created by two sharp students who saw the need for a simple way for teachers to take roll call for online classes. (As with any extensions, you will likely have to speak to your district’s IT department and have this allowed for you domain.) Once installed, Attendance for Google Meet will automatically detect new meetings and launch a popup where you can add your class roster. Once students join, teachers can click the “take attendance” button and present students will be marked as such. This can then be exported directly to Google Drive.
While this isn’t the only option out there, it is the cleanest, simplest, and most straightforward attendance extension that I have tested. Teachers can create multiple class lists the exported attendance sheets list students present, the time they joined and left, and how long they were in the meeting. Again, this is a third-party extension and that comes with its own caveats. At any time, updates to Google Meet could break this extension but from what I can tell, these two young men are very diligent about keeping their project up to date. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can find the extension at the link below. You can also find the project and privacy information on Github here. If you have feedback or requests, you can find the official Facebook page for Attendance for Google Meet here.