The Zoom offer: Free up to 100 participants, limited to 45 minutes
This post is an evaluation based on our experience using Zoom for an online class taught to many students.
Zoom’s popularity is skyrocketing, so it’s likely that your students are already familiar with it. They’ve probably already downloaded the App, and this could make your first class easier. We like Zoom because it enables you to “program” a videoconference in advance, with a unique link for it. There are many options to pre-set the videoconference, such as: turn on all participants’ video or not, activate a waiting room, and mute all participants as soon as they join the videoconference. Teachers with a great number of students in one class may particularly appreciate these options. Zoom allows you to maintain a certain degree of control over your videoconference.
Zoom has been heavily criticized for its lack of security but they’re working hard in order to change the situation. There will certainly be many upcoming changes in this direction in the next few days or weeks. Right now though, by default, any participant can share their screen. In fact, this is even called “Zoom bombing”: a participant shares their screen without the host’s permission. To avoid this, you may manually disable this feature, or opt for another online communication tool such as Cisco Webex or GoTo Meeting.
One of Zoom’s potentially useful feature for online classes is the “Spotlight”. When there are 3 participants or more, Zoom automatically shows the person who is speaking. In a class context, we’re more interested in seeing the teacher’s video in full screen, and not the other students’. This is what Spotlight does. The “spotlighted” video will always be shown in full screen, no matter who starts speaking.
Here are our recommendations when using Zoom with hoosgood:
- Program your classes ahead and activate the “Waiting room”. The waiting room will allow you to accept only registered students into your virtual classroom.
- Use a password for heightened security.
- Once the videoconference has started, under the “security” button, deactivate the option allowing all participants to share their screen.
- Choose the Zoom Spotlight option. (Click here).
To learn more on how to use hoosgood, read our blog post that explains it in 7 easy steps:
How to teach online? Here’s where to start
You have questions or want to give it a try? Our team is here to help: firstname.lastname@example.org