It seems that quarantine made us sit at home for a long time. But no one has canceled their studies at school, and so that children do not lag behind the program, teachers regularly post independent tasks in Viber, and then they ask their parents to either photograph notebook sheets and send them over the Internet, or use more advanced solutions like Google Classroom. But all this has one big and very significant drawback. The training was essentially assigned to the parents.
This they really have to study at school for the second time in their life, though according to a more complex program, to study textbooks and google something new on the Internet that they couldn’t understand from the textbook, and then try to explain all this to their child and help him fulfill his own or test work. But not a single parent, if he himself is not a teacher, can explain the material to the student as well as it would be possible in a lesson at school.
It’s especially difficult, for example, for me to learn English with children, and it’s hard to explain mathematics, especially after you lose an hour somewhere to learn a long time ago and forgotten. But fortunately, our English teacher found an option on how to conduct the lessons and showed it to her colleagues. It's about conferences using Zoom.
What is Zoom
Zoom is a unique cross-platform solution that allows for group video conferencing. The free version makes it possible to combine up to 100 participants into a conference for a period of not more than 40 minutes. It is enough for a lesson lasting an academic hour. The conference organizer registers in the service and either installs on the iPad, iPhone application from the App Store or downloads the installer on a Mac or works with the web version through a browser. Conference participants connect from their devices, for example, my children put an iPad in front of them. For conference participants, registration in the service is not required, just have a unique conference code, or a link that the organizer can send through the messenger.
How to register for Zoom
Registering for Zoom is very simple and standard. You need to specify your e-mail, and then activate the account by clicking on the link from the email. You can also log in using your Gmail and Facebook account.
How to start a conference in Zoom
After registration, you need to log into the system on a gadget or PC in a web browser, specifying your e-mail and password. Then on the main screen you need to tap “New Conference” – “Start Conference”. To invite participants, in the upper right corner tap on the “Participants” icon and tap “Invite” at the bottom. The organizer has the opportunity to either send a Message, or an e-mail with an invitation, or copy the url, then paste it into any messenger.
How to join a conference in Zoom
It is enough for the conference participant to follow the link that he received via the iMessage message, by e-mail or in a messenger, for example Viber. If the Zoom application is not already installed on the iPad, then the link will lead to the App Store, where the program can be downloaded, if Zoom is already on the tablet, it will open and offer to connect to the desired conference with the microphone turned on or off.
Also, the application will ask you to connect with or without video. Naturally, the latest versions of iOS and iPadOS will issue several paranoid requests in the spirit of Apple to allow access to a microphone, camera, delivery of notifications, and so on. In order for everything to work adequately, all requests must be answered in the affirmative.
You can also tap the “Login” button on the main screen of the application and enter either the name of the personal link or the conference identifier received from the organizer in the messenger.
How is the conference going in Zoom
On the main screen we can see the speaker (organizer) of the conference.
If this is an English lesson, we will accordingly see our teacher. In the lower right corner there is a small window where we see what our gadget is taking, usually through the front camera, but you can switch the camera and show the interlocutors what is around us. Also, if you tap on the little blue plus sign in the upper left corner of this square, we will see our interlocutors in the opened squares. In the case of a lesson, the teacher sees his students. You can see all participants in large squares, if you tap the button “Switch to gallery view” at the top left.
For the full work of all participants, each of them must have sound turned on and preferably a video. Then it will be possible for everyone to hear and see each other. If desired, both the microphone and the broadcast from your camera can be temporarily turned off. To do this, the corresponding buttons are provided at the top.
Zoom has a feature I really liked. When one of the interlocutors starts talking, the system switches the screen to him, everyone sees and hears him. Another begins to speak, the system switches the main screen to it. But at the same time, you can turn off those who are trying a lot to speak out of substance, attracting precious attention. To do this, tap on the “Participants” button, select for example the organizer – our teacher and turn on “Track the video”. Now we will hear everyone, but see only her.
Additional Zoom Features
I was amazed at how powerful and versatile the application we started to use. Turns out Zoom is not just about collaboration. This and a number of other exciting features, namely:
- traditional chat between participants (messages typed from the keyboard);
- screen demonstration of your mobile gadget or PC to the interlocutors, which means the opportunity to really show how I solve a particular problem in a particular application;
- Connecting the most popular cloud storage services iCloud Drive, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box and Dropbox and sharing a specific file or document;
- Sharing photos from the film strip of the gadget;
- providing url interlocutors with links to any resource on the Internet;
- when providing access to a document, for example a pdf file, a panel with annotation tools appears, allowing the interlocutors to highlight something, emphasize in the document, add comments;
- you can “raise your hand” to attract the speaker’s attention and ask him a question.
Through the lesson, the teacher can provide students with a visual aid, or some page of the textbook with their notes, or can check and evaluate students' control tasks in real time.
The coolest Zoom function
Separately, I want to mention the wonderful and indispensable, in my opinion for the teacher, function “Message Board”. The iPad screen easily turns into an interactive whiteboard on which you can write or draw with your finger or using the Apple Pencil.
Really enter and typed text. Blocks of text, inscriptions and drawings can be moved around the board to the right place, for this there is an appropriate selection tool. You can create several different boards and switch between them during the conference. I think this is a great help for a full lesson.
How to schedule conferences in Zoom
Another important feature of the application is its integration with either the Google calendar or iCloud calendar, which is very important for users of Apple's technology. The organizer can schedule the date and time of the next conference and send out appropriate invitations to the participants. You can add the appropriate commands for Siri.
And in the Zoom settings you can slightly adjust your appearance, which can be very convenient in some situations.
In general, modern technology allows our children to study remotely, and teachers to conduct lessons without leaving home. What do you think about this? Have you ever used Zoom? Share your experience in our Telegram chat. For example, until recently I thought that this application is relevant only for business and only in large corporations, and for this reason I did not pay attention to it, and now I am glad that it helps me despite any difficulties for the second time in my life together with my children learn a difficult school curriculum.