A Few More Tips for Zoom Teaching

Since my last post on Zoom teaching, I got some great tips from my friends on Twitter and thought of a couple more things I want to share:

  1. Another way to share an iPad screen is to login to Zoom separately from that device. This makes it easier to manage your windows on the “main” computer, but be careful that you don’t randomly assign the iPad to a breakout room. Preassigning students to breakout rooms assures this won’t happen. Thx @BenFinio and @tedsvo
  2. You can share your iPad screen’s wirelessly using Zoom’s built-in AirPlay server. This allows apps like GoodNotes and PowerPoint to use Presenter Mode and show students your slides while you see more information (likes notes and tools) on your iPad’s screen. Zoom says it is supported on Windows, but I have yet see it actually work. Zoom’s AirPlay server is pretty solid on the Mac, though I use a wired connection myself. Thx @tedsvo and George Orlov
  3. If you don’t have an iPad, Mathew Ford shows us how to easily turn a smart phone into a document camera. With this you can just write on paper and your students around the world will be able to virtually look over your shoulder. Thx @dashdotrobot and @BenFinio
  4. On Tuesday Zoom successfully preassigned 12 of my students to breakout rooms. I don’t know why, but this time it decided to leave the other 70 in the main room. Luckily, I just had to click “Recreate > Recover to pre-assigned rooms” from the breakout room dialog box to fix the problem.
  5. Arranging windows is tricky in Zoom because it tends to move them around when you do thinks like share your screen. That’s why I start by sharing my slides. Then I put my students into grid view to maximize the number I can see. The student grid wants to be on top so I move it aside before opening my other windows. I open Participants (so I can see hand raises), Chat (so I can see questions), and Breakout rooms (so it’s fast to start them). Last, I put the student grid in place as close to my camera as possible without covering my tool bar. This way my students see me looking at them when I’m actually looking at them. The screen share window is big (so it’s high resolution) and covered up (since I look at my slides on the iPad). It would be nice if Zoom remembered these window settings from session to session or when I return from breakout rooms, but for now, I just get a lot of practice organizing my windows.
  6. This last tip might seem obvious, but if you are going to have your students work on problems in breakout rooms, post them to your course website ahead of time. Your screen share isn’t propagated to the breakout rooms, so they will need to download the slides in order to see them.

Got more tips? Feel free to contribute in the discussion below or tweet @TeachBetterCo!