Zoom Features for the Virtual Classroom pt. 1

Are you ready for a new set of Zoom features to use to engage your students and enhance your virtual classroom? As teachers become more comfortable with the features and all that Zoom has to offer, the more creative our thinking can be around our virtual classroom and engaging students. Zoom is constantly evolving too, offering new updates and features for teachers and students to use. Read part 1 of this 3 part series to discover how old and new Zoom features to support and strengthen student learning. 

Zoom Desktop App

Downloading the Desktop Client (app) can save you time when scheduling, starting or accessing settings for Zoom meetings. It is a quick access to Zoom without having to log into your browser. Simply go to https://zoom.us/download and click “Download” under Zoom Client for Meetings.  

Zoom recently updated and added new features. You may need to manually update your version of the Zoom Desktop app by going to your Desktop App>Click profile picture>Check for Updates. If you have the latest version, it will let you know. If you do not, you will be prompted to update. It is also possible for students to have the Zoom Desktop App downloaded on their computer without needing to sign up for a Zoom account. Students would simply download Zoom Client for meetings using the link above. This is a great way to ensure that students have access to the most recent version of Zoom and all its features. 

The Perks of Polls in the Virtual Classroom

Polls are a great way to take a pulse of student understanding and feelings toward content during live lessons, build community, and even give out small assessments. Using polls to ask students if they need more time or examples with content, provides an opportunity for self- reflection and teacher check ins. Building community and finding similarities amongst classmates is difficult in the virtual world. Creating a poll about interests and then sharing results, can help facilitate this virtually. Polls could also be used to check-in on understanding of a topic, a mini “quiz” question. Polls allow students to drive the needs of the virtual classroom and give teachers a pulse of student understanding.  

Polls can be created before or during a meeting. To create a poll, simply schedule and save a meeting on Zoom.us. After saving, scroll to the bottom of meeting details to add in poll questions (you can add as many as you need). It is also possible to add polls to a scheduled meeting by going to Zoom.us>My Account>Meetings>Select the meeting>Edit>Save, then scroll to the bottom of meeting settings to add a poll.

Once in the meeting, click the poll button in the host tool bar and select and launch the polling question and select your poll question. Students will answer, and results will be shown to the host. Some questions may lend themselves to sharing, in this case, the host can select a button “share results with participants” to display the results to all participants. Sharing results could be a unique way to build your classroom community through polls.  

A poll in progress from Host’s perspective
Once a poll has ended, you can share results with participants, re-launch, or close and view results later.

Teachers could also do quick assessment questions, they may choose not to share results, but instead download or view later as an extra data point. The new update in Zoom, now allows the host to download the results for later viewing.  To access a CSV file of your poll results, simply log in to Zoom on the browser>My account>Reports>Poll report>Select Meeting that has Poll>Generate. 

The perks of using polls with your students:
  • Get a pulse of student understanding
  • Build community
  • Give quick assessment and collect data

Tune in next time for part 2 of Zoom Features for the Virtual classroom where we will highlight an oldie, Breakout Rooms, with new and improved features. Zoom On!

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