Zoom

Our virtual classrooms' primary conference tool

Install

Take a look at the picture below of what we need to install, this is called the Zoom Meeting client. Note that we'll use the sign in with Google feature so you don't need to create a new password. Press the link, install the app, and then log in.

Getting this app open on your computer is our first goal
You will be signing in with your school Google account

You should also get Zoom Meetings app on your phone. It's helpful, especially when your computer is frozen and you really need to get into a meeting.

Chat

The chat feature in Zoom has many advantages over Gmail's built-in chat, Hangouts. You can see people's current status so you can avoid bothering them if they're in a meeting. From a chat, you can start a meeting with a click.

From the Zoom Meeting client, check out the chat option

Channel

Many teachers are using channels for their classes. Since schools are meeting on Zoom anyway, keeping your class's conversation on Zoom allows you to share links answer questions, and kick off a group meeting with a click. When you create a channel for your block, don't worry if your students aren't on the listing. After your first meeting, they'll be in your recent contacts and can add them then.

Sign in with school Google If students aren't logged into the Zoom Meeting client with their school Google account, they won't be automatically added to our organization's list of contacts.

Participant

Let's review some of the key features you should know when you're participating in a Zoom meeting.

Muted

In conferences with more than four people, it's expected that guests keep their microphone muted until it's their turn to speak.

Stay muted until it's your turn to speak.

Hold spacebar to unmute yourself You can temporarily disable your mute to answer a question if you hold down the spacebar button. As soon as you let it go, you're back to mute. It's a great way to answer a question in a group setting. Note: It's not a global hotkey. Spacebar doesn't unmute your mic if you've selected a different window.

Share your screen

Share your work with the class. You can share a single app, a file or a your whole screen. Host a practice meeting and try it out.

Annotations

While sharing your screen, your meeting participants can write notes.

This feature can get annoying if students misuse it. You can clear everyone else's drawing but your own, but you can't cut particular students off from annotating while preserving your own ability to do so. To change this, you have to cut off all participants' access to annotations before you launch your meeting:

First go to your settings and select "View More Settings"
You can turn this off if student annotations are counter-productive.

Headsets are best

Laptop microphones can pick up a great deal of background sound. If you have a headset, those work best. You might not have to get a special headset for your computer: If you have a Bluetooth headset you use for your phone, just pair it to your laptop and you'll have a better time at class.

Virtual Background

Protect the privacy of your home while on a meeting and have fun at the same time. Put in your own custom background! Open up the preferences in Zoom using this button:

Look in your Zoom preferences menu

Host

Whether your serving as a host in person or virtually, you have a duty to make people feel welcome and safe.

Safety

When Kahoot! became popular worldwide in classrooms, it also became a target for trolls. Zoom is no different. Fortunately, it's not hard to safeguard your meeting space so long as you take a few precautionary measures. Almost any one of the following tips can protect your participants.

Tip 1: Lock your meeting

Once you have all your participants in your meeting, lock it down. No one else can join once it's locked.

You don't really need to do this if you've got Tip 4 down. Locking a meeting is a great, simple feature that's nice to know, even if there are friendlier safety measures we can employ.

Tip 2: Start with video and chat muted

In the settings shown below, you'll see how to set default states for joining participants. Guests should always start with their mic and camera off. Yes, it will mean you often have participants talking without realizing their muted. It's better than a noisy room suddenly up-ending your meeting.

Tip 3: Keep participants list open at all times

Don't let your guard down. Keep the participants list open. It's important to be able to respond quickly should you need to cut a video feed, mute a loud participant, or remove someone. The participants list can be moved around when you shift to full-screen. The option to bring it back to view is never far away.

Tip 4: Don't enable join before host, always enable waiting room

Join before host is inappropriate for schools. Joining before host means you're providing an unregulated space where participants can talk among themselves before the host starts a meeting. However, the waiting room means you have to manually admit each participant. Keep an eye out for a little alert that will tell you when someone is waiting. You can bulk approve a whole group of folks.

Tip 5: Don't use PMI for big sessions

Your personal meeting ID (PMI) allows you to have the same link for every session. It can be a real convenience for your guests as they can use the same link from last time. But if this link was ever published visibly, it can be added to a list of vulnerable Zoom rooms to harass. Fortunately, you can schedule meetings using a randomized ID. If you're adding a big, public session to a calendar, change your scheduler's option to make it a one-time meeting ID.

Tip 6: Use a password

In the settings menu shown above, there's also an option to set a password for your meeting. Use a password and send it over your channel. You don't need to use a one-time meeting ID. From your Zoom Meeting client, you can sent your personal room to have a simple password that will keep out spammers.

Schedule

Add this extension to your Chrome browser so you can add web conferencing from Google Calendar.

Settings

From the Zoom app, let's set your classroom's default settings
This is the option menu when scheduling a Zoom meeting on Google Calendar

Recording

In the settings shown above, your meeting should automatically record. By default these will be saved on your computer. That takes up your hard drive space and doesn't help the students that missed class. There are additional settings in Zoom's preferences that will help you manage these files.

Thankfully, you have Google Drive File Stream, you can save all your files to that class's folder on Google Drive. File Stream will keep them in the cloud so they don't take up space on your computer and you can easily share the file or the whole folder with students.

Breakout Rooms

Watch the video below. It's a great feature to facilitate group work and stay in a class.

Read More

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