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Classroom and Teaching Technology Update

This guide looks at some of the teaching technology available for you to use.

Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Things to Do Before Your First Zoom Meeting

  • Practice! Practice using Zoom before you go live with your meeting, presentation, or class.
  • Check your equipment and have a backup plan.
    • The 3 most common technical issues with any web conferencing software are:
      • Participants can’t see
      • Participants can’t hear
      • Background noise & mic feedback
    • Build in time for testing your equipment before each session.
      • If using a webcam, preview what the webcam is showing.
      • Make sure you have any files you want to share accessible ahead of time on the same computer that you will be using for the meeting.
        • If your presentation is visually dense or contains video, consider distributing it to participants in advance.
      • Make sure your sound is working.
      • Make sure your microphone is working.
        • Often a headset with a microphone provides better sound quality than a computer or webcam microphone.
  • Provide students with Rules of Engagement / Etiquette
    • One example of a rule is to establish an understanding among participants of when and how to interrupt. For example, have people raise hands or type questions in the chat window.
    • Have a rule that speaker's identify themselves each time they speak or identify them for the listening audience if you are calling on students.

Things to Do During Your Meeting

  • Give everyone a few minutes at the start of the meeting to get settled. Check in with participants to make sure the system is working. It is good practice to ask at the start if sound and video are working. If you are recording, let participants know that you will be recording the meeting.
  • Ask participants to mute themselves when they are not speaking. This cuts down on feedback and background noise.
  • If participants are unable to join by computer due to access or technical issues, they can join by phone.
    • Don’t assume that all participants can see or make the same sense of your visual display as you intend. For accessibility, get in the habit of describing whatever is happening visually on the screen.
  • Keep participants engaged. You may have to call on them! Ask them a question in the chat feature and make everyone respond.
  • When you ask a question or request information, allow time for slightly delayed responses because the system may experience slight transmission delays.
  • Direct your questions to a specific individual rather than to everyone. If you direct a question to everyone, you might get multiple people trying to answer at one time which can get very confusing.

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