Time is running out on the free Google Meet premium: What schools and colleges can do to adapt

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In May, Google announced that its premium video conferencing product, Google Meet, would be free for everyone.

As part of this announcement, G-Suite for Education customers were given access to advanced enterprise features at no additional cost. On Sept. 30, 2020, that deal comes to an end.

What does this mean for existing customers, and what can schools and universities do to ensure they have the tools they need? Let’s break it down.

How this announcement impacts G-Suite for Education customers

G-Suite for Education is free for all schools, universities, and education facilities. This includes access to Meet. That will not change.

However, after Sept. 30, you will no longer be able to use the Meet premium upgrade. You’ll get downgraded to the standard G-Suite for Education version.

As such, you’ll lose access to the following features:

  • Dial-in access to meetings (U.S. and International)
  • Meetings up to 250 participants
  • Live streaming for as many as 100,000 in-domain viewers
  • Ability to record meetings

The pandemic forced many school districts to turn to remote learning. If you’re among them, and you’ve been taking advantage of this Google offer, then you already know how essential these tools are to a successful virtual education.

Losing access – especially with the new school year already underway – could be problematic for students and teachers alike.

That’s where G-Suite Enterprise for Education comes into play.

What does G-Suite Enterprise for Education include?

G-Suite Enterprise for Education has all the same features as the free G-Suite for Education, but also includes additional enterprise-level tools.

It offers you more video features as part of Meet premium. You’ll no longer be limited to just 100 participants – which would be beneficial for large lectures – and you can record meetings as well, making lessons available for students who may have missed class. Furthermore, you can record meetings and livestream up to 100,000 participants. This feature could come in handy for everything from commencement ceremonies to public speakers to campus-wide announcements.

G-Suite Enterprise for Education gives you improved control and better security through features like advanced mobile device management (MDM), the ability to choose the data regions for G-Suite apps, and an investigative tool that helps you identify security issues and take action. You can also analyze G-Suite reports in BigQuery.

How can you purchase G-Suite Enterprise for Education?

SHI is now authorized to sell G-Suite Enterprise for Education. There are two types of products available for purchase:

  1. Full-domain licenses
  2. Partial-domain licenses

With full-domain licenses, you purchase licenses for all the full-time employees (FTEs) in your domain ($24 per user per year), and your student licenses are free. The only restriction is that you must have a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio. You must pay for anything above that ratio.

It’s also important to note that this offering is available for a limited time. Google hasn’t indicated when the promotion will end, but it likely won’t be long after Sept. 30.

With partial-domain licenses, you purchase individual licenses for every user in the school, including FTEs and students ($48 per user per year). However, this product requires a 50-person minimum or 15% of the total school’s population (whichever is higher).

Improving the virtual learning experience

There’s no telling how long schools and universities will be using remote learning. But one thing’s for sure: It’ll only be as successful as the experience you offer. And that begins with the tools, whether that’s G-Suite for Education, or another virtual conference product like Zoom, WebEx, or Microsoft Teams.

Sept. 30 is right around the corner. And for G-Suite for Education customers, that means the tools you’ve grown accustomed to over the past few months are going away. There’s no time to wait.