Since the pandemic of 2020, teachers have been turning to Zoom's teaching tools in numbers and there's good reason. Want to know how to use Zoom for teaching? You've come to the right place as we cover off how to do just that in this step-by-step guide.
Teachers love Zoom because it provides them with lots of useful tools and allows them to continue teaching throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Using Zoom for teaching has also opened up a new stream for many teachers, who now use a combination of online and in-person classes to connect with their students.
If you're a teacher, you may already be familiar with Zoom, but if not there are a number of features you should be aware of, and confident in using and explaining, in order to teach a class.
The first thing to remember is that Zoom online classes are live. The great thing about this is that is encourages interaction and engagement between teachers and students (and students with other students!) during the class, just like in-person.
Zoom's teaching tools explained:
- How to use Views and Spotlight Video
- Zoom screen sharing explained
- Raise Hand feature
- How to use Mute when needed
- Breakout Rooms
1. How to use Views and Spotlight Video
When students join, the default layout for their video will be the Speaker View. This view means that the video feed for whoever is speaking (or making sound) will take up the full screen.
This view will work for classes that require you, as the teacher, to demonstrate when using Zoom for teaching.
However, you can ask your students to swap to Gallery View which means they can see all the participants, and you the host, at once in a tile format. This will work for classes that involve group discussion.
As the host, you will want to keep your students on a Gallery View but most likely want to ask them to keep their screens on a Speaker View so you take up their full screen (just make sure you are the only person speaking/making noise, and use the mute button when necessary).
You can also use the Spotlight Video feature that will enable you, as the host, to force your screen to be the largest on Speaker View even if others are speaking or making noise.
2. Screen sharing on Zoom
During the introduction of your class, you may want to take students through the history of your subject, or use visual aids to help explain more complicated techniques.
This is when screen sharing comes in. Students will be able to see everything you do on your computer, just like they were in the room with you, viewing your screen. You can prepare presentations and materials to share with your students when using Zoom for teaching.
Zoom also lets you share your computer's audio, meaning you can share your screen to show a video online, or one you've created earlier. Mixing and matching the pre-recorded and live video class.
3. Raise hand feature
Using the Raise hand feature is a good way to allow students to ask a question when muted. They can use this by clicking the Participants tab at the bottom of the screen and selecting the hand icon next to their name.
This is a great tool when using Zoom for teaching, as it allows students to get the teacher's attention without interrupting the flow.
4. How to use Mute when needed
When students join your class, you may find there's of conversation going on, or none at all. When using Zoom for teaching, you need to learn how to manage participants virtually, and this is when the Mute and Mute all buttons become essential.
Once every student has joined the class, it's nice to start by letting everyone introduce themselves, as you might for an in-person class. And as you would point to a student in-person, you can use the Mute button to indicate who should speak next.
When you want to start the class, it may be worth muting all students while you are speaking. This will make sure you are the speaker in the Speaker View and ensure no background noises from students affect anyone else.
5. Breakout Rooms
Make use of the breakout rooms function to set projects in the class for a smaller number of the participants. As you might during an in-person class, you can similarly set smaller tasks and projects for groups within your class.
As the host, you always have access to each breakout room, and can check in on each set of participants as you go along. This is also a great way to open discussions with a small number of students to allow for all voices and questions to be heard.
If teaching children, the breakout rooms feature is particularly handy in managing your students and ensuring every child has the best chance at learning.
Need more teaching advice?
Got teaching on Zoom down? But not sure how to manage your bookings in the first place? There are many tools out there, but Obby has brought together all the best features into one class booking system.
Unsure about the etiquette for teaching on Zoom? Take a look at Obby's Dos and Don'ts for teaching online.
Thanks for reading our guide to teaching with Zoom. Need more great teaching tips? Review our related guides below:
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