At Flockjay, we use Zoom to effectively train adult learners around the country remotely in real-time. We completely understand that the learning curve can be different for everyone at varied stages of growth, so we wanted to share some best practices to help you adjust to using Zoom for your class as you get started.
10 Best Practices for Using Zoom for Teachers
- REMINDERS. Send out a reminder to have students download Zoom on their devices in advance
- MEETING LINKS. Share the Correct Zoom Meeting link on multiple channels so everyone knows where to join
- FUN! FUN! FUN! Remember, learning should be FUN! Students already enjoy screen time, so hosting class by Zoom should be no different. Think of ways to start your time with a hook (survey question, a “walk-up” song or “pump you up” song, video clip, joke, riddle, inspirational quote, reflection, wacky headline, choosing a virtual background, etc). Also, maintaining a healthy sense of humor is crucial for everyone new to this format. When someone accidentally mutes/unmutes or forgets to show themself on video, guard their dignity and also be willing to laugh at yourself when you make an error, too. It WILL happen.
- EXPECTATIONS. Set expectations up front to acknowledge the learning curve (how to mute/unmute, turning on video to see faces, how to use the chat window, etc).
- GALLERY VIEW. Encourage students to use the GALLERY VIEW on their desktop/laptops so they can see up to 25 faces at a time (if it’s on mobile or phone call, this will be limited)
- NOISE & LIGHT. Using headphones is typically better than using the computer speakers open air (to avoid potential feedback/ background noise). Also encourage them to sit somewhere bright enough to be seen (facing a window or with a desk lamp to shine their face vs. light behind which creates a dark silhouette)
- TAKE BREAKS. When having to use the bathroom or go offscreen, BE SURE TO MUTE your mic and turn OFF the video, lest something like this should happen 🤣
- BREAKOUT ROOMS. Try creating small groups using breakout rooms. You can assign students manually or automatically (random). As an admin, you can also jump around rooms to moderate students discussing topics with each other.
- AWKWARD IS OK. Openly acknowledge the potential for awkwardness and assure them that this is a creative way to stay connected even at a distance (plus the added bonus of seeing each other’s faces up close, and hearing each others’ voices directly in your ears can allows for unexpected connection)
- SHARE SCREEN. For greater engagement, share your screen, not just your face. Slide decks, Youtube clips, songs, docs, photos, etc. Click the share screen feature, the green box in the middle center bottom; sharing screen is also good for slide decks or docs, just be sure to hide any confidential windows/tabs ahead of time
Need more help? Check out this resource from Owl Labs: Everything You Need to Know About Using Zoom
Just for laughs…