Zoom Features in the Virtual Classroom pt.3

Welcome back, Zoomers! To continue the adventure with new and/or improved features in Zoom, part 3 is coming your way. This post is all about video displays that you have available now with the updated version and how you might use them in your virtual classroom.


Pinning is a user-defined feature that allows the user to select another video display to place at the center and increased size on their own screen during meetings. This means that the view will only change for the participant that selected/ pinned the video displays. To use this feature, simply click on the 3 more dots in the top right corner of another participant’s video display and select pin. With the new update: host and participants can pin up to 9 videos. 

One way to use this feature in the classroom is with math buddies. Students could pin their math partner and share/check/compare work shown on their partner’s screen. For community building and large group sharing, student might select 3 or 4 friends to pin video during a book or art show, so that student could see a larger, centered version of peer’s book choice or art.  


Spotlighting is another Zoom feature but is only available to the host (when there is 3 or more participants). Spotlighting is similar to pinning in the way the video displays are shown. The only difference is that spotlighting a video is controlled and selected by the host and then view is displayed to all participants. The host selects the 3 dots in the corner of a video display and selects spotlight video, this changes the view to everyone in the meeting to view that video in the center and increased size. With the new updates: the host can spotlight up to 9 video displays.  

Using spotlighting in the classroom, could support teachers in centering student’s attention to a specific screen. A way a teacher could use this feature is by spotlighting the teacher video to ensure that students are seeing your video display as the largest display. Also, this would be a great tool as well when modeling a skill, such as Zoom conversations. Teacher could spotlight self and another student to demonstrate what a good conversation looks like on Zoom, much like you might do in a classroom by bringing a student upfront to demonstrate.  

Follow Host’s Video Order

With the new update, organizing your video displays is easier than ever. With a meeting in progress, you can click on a video display and drag it to where you would like it on your gallery view.

Along with speaker view and gallery view, you can now select- “Follow Host’s Video Order”. This means you could put student’s video display in the order you would like them, select “Follow Host’s Video Order” and change the view for your participants to match the view that you as the host see. This could assist with “around the room” sharing, allowing students to know who is next in order. Just another cool way to manage the virtual classroom. To access, click view in the top right corner and select Follow Host’s Video order.

Hoping these features from the 3 part series got your creative wheels turning as you set off to enhance and strengthen student learning using these tools. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! Zoom On!

  1. […] Now that students are comfortable with Zoom and Teams consider bringing in some of the other tools Zoom/Teams has to offer. See articles on polling, live captions, and so much more.   […]


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