Zoom now ranks as the No. 1 video conferencing app in the world. Zoom became especially popular during the pandemic when employees worked from home and used the app to stay connected with colleagues. It also provided many benefits for educators.
Even with in-person classroom teaching returning, educators can use Zoom best practices for teachers to create a hybrid classroom incorporating both in-person and remote learning. Tools such as video conferencing allow teachers to speak to students and share documents, no matter where the students are located.
While some courses—hands-on courses in science, for example—present logistics challenges, they can be overcome by learning the Zoom best practices for teachers.
Teachers Share Zoom Best Practices
Teachers today have the advantage of learning from the experiences of their colleagues who are experts on using Zoom in the classroom. Zoom has put together some of those best practices to help guide educators.
Have Everyone on Zoom
Even students in the classroom can join a Zoom meeting and interact with peers attending the class remotely. For breakout sessions, students in the classroom can use headphones and speak one-on-one with remote students. Alternately, teachers can place a webcam at the front of the room that gives remote students a view of the entire classroom.
Group In-Class with Remote Students
Teachers can group an in-person student with a remote student intentionally so that remote students feel a part of the classroom. Some teachers allow older students to communicate with remote students using chat (which they monitor to ensure students stay on topic).
Go Beyond Lectures
Long lectures can tire out students and make them lose focus even in the classroom. It’s much worse for online students. Teachers should change the class format to include online breakout sessions, discussions, videos, activities, polls and surveys.
Use Zoom’s Whiteboard Feature
The Whiteboard feature offered by Zoom allows teachers and students to annotate on-screen during Zoom meetings. The feature works well for collaboration and brainstorming ideas and allows students to share ideas and their work.
Have the Right Technology
All students should have the technology needed to hear and see everything in the Zoom call. It’s also good practice for teachers to repeat a student’s question before answering to ensure that everyone hears both.
Other Zoom best practices for teachers include:
- Practice using Zoom before putting it to use
- Review all the host controls and meeting settings
- Use screen sharing to share your screen with students
- Use chat to engage students in discussion as well as solve technical issues without disrupting the entire class
Fresno Pacific University Online Tools Courses
Understanding how to use the top tools for online teaching helps teachers make the most of the advanced digital resources at their disposal. Fresno Pacific University offers courses related to tech tools in the classroom as part of its continuing education courses for teachers.
Teachers can take these courses to expand their knowledge while also earning valuable professional development credits, all with the convenience and flexibility of online learning. These include professional certificates in various topics, such as Classroom Technology Integration Certificate and a Technology Skills for Educators Certificate.
Individual courses within these programs—which teachers can also take to earn professional development credit even if they don’t earn the certificate—cover many tech tools beyond Zoom. These tools include:
- Google Drive
- Google Maps
- Cloud Computing
- Interactive whiteboards
Fresno Pacific University also offers many courses on ways to put these tools to use to enhance learning plans and improve student engagement. Educators everywhere can benefit from these programs, earning professional development credits at their own pace through online courses that feature experts in their fields.