Zoom is a video conferencing and lives learning tool that delivers high-definition presentations and collaboration with up to 250 attendees. One of the greatest things about using Zoom is its flexibility; it can be accessed from any browser on most devices, allowing you to lead your class virtually. As a result, a Zoom online classroom is now becoming the norm.
The Age of Zoom for Schooling
Since the advent of interconnected computer networks, there has been a growing emphasis on virtual learning. The advancements in technology have gone hand-in-hand with technology’s ever-expanding reach. We are seeing this expansion not only in terms of how people communicate but also as far as how they learn is concerned. Educators, tutors, and corporate trainers alike are migrating to online learning spaces such as Zoom in today’s digital era. This is because it allows them to deliver their lessons to multiple students or learners simultaneously from any location.
Learning isn’t restricted by the artificial walls of a physical classroom. Now, educators can collaboratively educate students via video conferencing! The internet has made this possible, with online learning environments such as Zoom leading the revolution.
The Downsides of Zoom
While Zoom has opened up the doors to virtual learning further than ever before, there are some downsides. Here are three downsides to consider when utilizing Zoom in your teachings:
1: Not All Learners Like to Be Recorded
Some learners don’t want their sessions recorded, so if you are thinking of recording your Zoom classes, you might need to get the students’ consent first. If you don’t find it necessary to record your Zoom session, this should not be a problem. However, if you are keen are recording your classes and watching them back, this may be an issue to consider.
2: Some Users Experience Audio and Video Lag
While Zoom has improved vastly in terms of video and audio quality compared to its predecessor, WebEx, there is still a chance that some users may experience audio and video lag during their sessions. If you know someone who uses Zoom daily for teaching or hosting meetings, odds are they have experienced these technical difficulties.
3: The Program Is Not Compatible With Older Systems
Finally, if your school is still using outdated software and hardware (operating systems), Zoom’s compatibility with these older systems can be an issue. The problem with using old technology such as older browsers and operating systems is that there may be some aspects of Zoom which you simply will not be able to use. In addition, everyone will need to have the most updated versions available, which is sometimes not possible.
Zoom has vastly improved the way online teaching works, but there will always be errors and difficulties to overcome as with any other kind of technology.
7 Zoom Classroom Hacks You Probably Did Not Know
Now that you understand some of the downsides of Zoom, it is time to look at some Zoom classroom hacks so you can have a better teaching experience!
#1: Start the Session at a Good Time
Start your session when most of your students can attend to avoid having random dropouts in your class. This way, you will not lose time and keep your lesson on track. If you find that it is easier for you to only teach during specific times, then make sure to tell this information to all students and give them the date and time of when your sessions will be held.
#2: Use a Screen Recording Tool for Videos
There are indeed other free screen recording tools that you can use to record not only your computer’s desktop but also the live video feed from Zoom at the same time, such as Open Broadcaster Software. This way, you won’t need to rely on a screen recorder just for your video and add the session recording on top of it.
#3: Use Your Phone or Tablet as a Second Webcam
A second webcam is helpful for your Zoom sessions since it can be shared among all participants. But what if you don’t have one? Do not worry because there are also simpler solutions that you can try. You can use either your phone or tablet, which double up as webcams. Your phone can act as a second webcam via the Mirroring option, while your tablet can serve this purpose as well.
#4: Record Your Session to View Later
If you cannot attend all of your sessions or if you are running late, then record them so you can watch them later. This way, you can catch up on your recordings and also view them at a later date. The downside to this solution is that you cannot interact with your participants when they watch the recording.
#5: Use Your Webcam to Keep in Touch
If you are the only one who knows how to use Zoom and also finds that your school is not able to get it right, then you can consider using your webcam along with Zoom for a similar experience. This allows you and your students to be able to see each other even when Zoom isn’t working.
#6: Get the Right Connection
Having a strong connection is very crucial for video conferencing, and if your school’s internet speed is insufficient and cannot handle Zoom’s data and bandwidth requirements, then make sure always to try it with Test Meeting first. Test Meeting will tell you precisely what kind of connection you will need to use Zoom.
#7: Make the Most Out of Zoom’s File Sharing
All you have to do to share files is drag and drop them into your chat. This way, you can easily share links, documents, or anything else that you want to show during class without needing to worry about using other programs.
These seven Zoom classroom hacks should help you improve the teaching experience!
Zoom is a virtual classroom that makes video conferencing an essential feature because it can be used for any time, anywhere teaching. It allows you to easily connect with your students and share your screen among all participants. However, Zoom isn’t perfect, nor does it have everything you might need for education. That’s why there are Zoom classroom hacks out there that you can use when the technology fails or when something goes wrong. These seven hacks are good to keep in mind, and hopefully, they will help you in your teaching endeavors!
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.