Zoom is a Video Conferencing Software that provides videotelophony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer platform. It is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education and for social relations. In this Zoom App Review for Teachers at all levels, we look at the features of Zoom and its merits for teaching and learning.
Because of the outbreak of coronavirus that forced all the school around the globe to shut down, the video conferencing software called Zoom became the talk of the town almost overnight. The tool was launched in 2013 to remotely connect office workers. Zoom App is now one of the most popular tool for online teaching and learning. The free version allows 100 participants and can last as long as 40 minutes.
Zoom is said to deserve its popularity for its impressive performance, cost, stability, and wide array of features. Below are features of Zoom App for teachers:
What Teachers can do with Zoom
Although, people use Zoom in different ways. What teachers do with Zoom depends on their skills, the need of their students and the direction given by the education ministry of their state. Though we have Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, each 36 states also has state ministry of education. Here are the basic usage:
1. Teach Live Lesson
Teachers can use the Zoom App to do their live streaming lessons. This synchronous method of communication gives the teachers opportunity to teach, students have opportunity to ask questions and also get instant feedback or answer from the teacher. This works perfect for countries that have good and stable power and internet infrastructures.
2. Record and Share Lessons
Because of poor internet in many developing countries like Nigeria and Africa at large. Using the asynchronous method of communication, teachers can record their lessons and share the prerecorded video to students becomes more equitable. The recording feature in Zoom helps teachers to create video lessons for students.
3. Classroom Flipping
Teachers can give out reading assignments, video tutorial, audio lesson etc to students using flipping method. After, the teacher will use Zoom to answer questions and clarify issues emanating from the reading assignment. This helps the students to continue to study while at home.
Teachers can also use the Zoom App for their office hours where they will attend to the students virtually, answer their questions, give them suggestion. Students and Teachers can also use it for storytelling and so on.
Some of these features can be integrated with other tools like the Google Classroom for maximum result.
Recommended Zoom Settings
Random Meeting ID: The same meeting ID can be use for every zoom class, but it is recommended that teachers use random meeting IDs option. This is to discourage participants from sharing their meeting ID with anybody.
Meeting Passcode: This feature is turned on by default for education users. It requires that students or learners should also enter their passcode if they manually entered the meeting ID.
Mute Audio: When participants or students are not speaking, they should mute their audio in order to stop noise that is coming from their end. Teachers can as well mute all the students individually or all of them at once. You can also mute everyone upon entrance.
Disable Video: Students may choose to join zoom meeting with only audio and turn on the video later if they wish to. Teacher or the host can also disable learner’s video.
Chat: The host or the teacher has the control to decide if students or participants can chat publicly or privately during meeting.
Silent Feedback: This option allows students to raise up their hands digitally, give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down or inform the teacher that it is time for break. These are done without interrupting the class section.
Other settings are – locking the meeting so as to prevent students from joining once the class lesson is on. Keeping students in a waiting room for the teacher to admit them one after another to make sure unauthorized user does not get access to meeting. Turning off the file share option so as to prevent students from sharing their file until the teacher allows it.
Pros and Cons
Below is Zoom App Review for Teachers pros and cons based on verified user account.
Zoom provides a quality good product, normally I would give a higher rating than I did now, but Zoom lacks in billing and customer supports. They have focused on the onslaught of Zoom’s privacy issues and has diverted its attention to this issue. Users that have issues with subscriptions are left fending for themselves.
Billing and customer support are lacking, and users are faced with emails that go unanswered. When attempting to call in, long waits of being placed on-hold occur, only to be answered by their answering service. With the recent onslaught of online needs, the business practices of Zoom have failed.
In addition, Nigeria and many African countries are not yet ripe for video live streaming in place of classroom teaching. Meanwhile, there is a recommendation for any Nigeria Institution that wishes to embrace online teaching.
What is your experience with Zoom and what do you think after reading this Zoom App Review for Teachers? Let us know through the below comment box.