Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Google Chat in Gmail

Google is always (for good or bad) updating its tools. Over the past 2 years, we have all been told that Hangouts (one of the most awesome tools) was being dismantled. Hangouts allowed users to text message, place phone calls, and run video calls all in one app. It was great and many of us used it every day. Unfortunately, the day has finally come for us all to have a moment of silence for the passing of our beloved Hangouts. But have no worries! Google has replaced it with Google Chat. This is very similar to Hangouts with some added features. It is more deeply tied in with Drive and your work teams. Chat is a great way to direct message people with text messages, share Drive files, and collaborate in groups (all within a new section called “Rooms”). Below are steps to start using Chat to collaborate and discussing with others.

  • I highly recommend grade-level teams use Chat for quick messaging as they won’t get lost in the endless emails we all get! Any new message will be on the right side of Gmail (if you set it up like the directions show) and are easy to find and stay current.

Enable Chat in Gmail:

You might have seen a pop-up in your Gmail recently. No worries if you just ignored it. They looked like this:

  1. Head over to Gmail and click the “Settings Gear” at the top right. Then select “See all settings”.

  1. Click on “Chat and Meet”.

  1. Choose your settings. I recommend selecting “Google Chat” and selecting the Chat Position as “Right side of the inbox” (this will allow you to see more chats), and also under Meet “Show the Meet section in the main menu” to allow quick Google Meet access.

  1. In your domain, Chat Notifications might be disabled to avoid unwanted “surprises” popping up while you have your screen displayed for students to see. You will not be able to have Chat notifications as popups. I do have mine set this way so when I click on a Chat it does open in a popup window, though.

  1. Make sure to click “Save Changes” if you made changes.

Send a Chat:

  1. Open up Gmail. Click on the “+” icon in the top-right.

  2. Choose what you want to do:

  1. Person, room, or bot: Start a Chat by entering a person’s name to start a message

  2. Start group conversation: Create a Chat Group (Group Message) with multiple participants

  3. Create a room: This is a group for project collaboration and communication and a place where people can share files, assign tasks, and stay connected

  4. Browse rooms: Search for rooms you have been invited to join

  5. Find a bot: Bots are special accounts you can chat with that provide a way for you to connect to services in Chat, such as looking up information, scheduling meetings, or doing tasks

  6. Message requests: Check if there have been requests sent your way

Create “Rooms”:

  1. Click on “Create room” to create a collaboration space.

  1. Add a name to this room and invite others.

  1. You can add text messages (bottom) or send files/tasks (middle) to the participants of this group/Room.

  1. Use Rooms to chat with your team, share files, and keep organized!

All these features are also available by going to or clicking on the Chat icon in the Google Waffle.

If you want these directions in a Document click HERE!