What’s New in Zoom?

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Zoom is constantly updating and adding new features. Consider allowing automatic updates to your Zoom client to take advantage of new features and maximize your options in meetings.

Focus Mode

If you want to be able to see all students’ screens while they work on an independent task, then perhaps focus mode is the right tool for you.

Zoom. “Focus Mode” [3:55]

Breakout Room Status Activity

Based on the latest release, now when students are in a breakout room, you can see whether their microphone and/or camera is in use in the main room. Simply open your Breakout Room window to view.

Learn more in this video.

Enrico Teotti, 2022.

Whiteboard Library

If you’ve been looking for ways to pre-build whiteboards, Zoom is now rolling out better whiteboards. With lots of new features, including the ability to use sticky notes and shapes, this new whiteboard is similar to tools like Google Jamboard and Miro. Be careful though! The sharing permissions work much differently – you need to share within a Zoom meeting to allow student access, and can’t just generate a link to send out. Learn more about Zoom whiteboards.

Zoom. “The All-New Zoom Whiteboard” [1:35]

Advanced Poll Questions

advanced polls option when creating a poll in Zoom
Advanced polls in Zoom

Want something more than just multiple choice questions? In your Settings, enable the Allow host to create advanced polls and quizzes option. This will level up the types of questions you can build, giving you greater flexibility in using polls to pre- and post-assess learning. Advanced polls are now released to all Zoom accounts at Conestoga!

Extra Reactions

Do you want students to be able to use more than just the basic 6 reactions? You can change your settings to open up to the full range of emojis. Beware! The options are All emojis or Select emojis. You can’t select the emojis yourself, and if you allow all emojis, some may be inappropriate. Be sure to set out expectations for appropriate use! Learn more about allowing more emojis as a way to promote non-verbal feedback and reactions in Zoom.

Meeting Templates

Not a new feature, but a good one! If you use Zoom polls frequently, consider whether you want to Save a Meeting as Template. Because we use recurring links in Zoom, the polls you build are all collected in the same meeting link. Saving it as a template allows you to reuse all those polls, semester after semester. Learn more about meeting templates in Zoom.

SAve a meeting as a template in the meeting settings.
Save a meeting as a template

Saving a meeting as a template can be incredibly helpful if you’re teaching the same course over multiple semesters. It pulls forward all your settings and polls, and lets you generate new links with those same settings and polls. This is a quick and easy way to recycle the questions you’ve developed.

Make sure to label your polls so you know which one you’re running! Perhaps title a poll Week 1 – Poll 1, Week 1 Poll 2… so you know which poll to launch when you’re teaching.

Share Your Screen to Breakout Rooms

When breakout rooms are open, the host or co-host can share a screen to breakout rooms. This helps students keep discussion topics top of mind. Be careful to share the correct screen, and be mindful that students can see any clicks conducted on that screen.

The share to breakout rooms option follows the share sound and optimize for video clip options.
In the Share window, find the Share to breakout rooms option.

Jess Wilkinson

Jesslyn is an Educational Technology Consultant at Conestoga. An Ontario Certified Teacher, and holding a B.A. and B.Ed., Jesslyn researches and promotes new technologies for faculty to enhance pedagogical practices. She brings to the role her experience as a Google and Microsoft certified technology trainer and as a classroom teacher in South Korea, Mongolia, and Ontario, focusing on special education and assistive learning technologies. She is available for workshops, consultations, and support with using technology in higher education contexts.

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