Zoom released a flurry of new updates over the past week. Some of them are very useful for the digital classroom. Here’s what to look out for:
Update your Zoom App
Before you look for any of these updates, make sure you are running the latest version of Zoom on your Mac or Windows Computer. To do this, open up the Zoom App, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner, then click on “Check for Updates”. The latest version at this time is 5.4.3. You can download the latest version here, if needed.
Gallery View Reordering
When viewing participants in Gallery View, you can click and drag in any order. This is great if you have particular students you want to closely monitor, or if you want to create a virtual seating chart.
Useful for students that have additional adult assistance in class, be it a live sign language interpreter, an instructional assistant, or a co-teacher. Students can pin the primary teacher and any number of others in the class to keep them focused and have easy access to the help they need.
Teachers can select co-hosts or participants to spotlight, so that viewers can see specific people in the meeting. Whether they are giving a presentation or demonstrating an idea or concept.
Unmute with Consent
Some students may need additional assistance turning off the mute and/or remembering to mute themselves. By “unmuting with consent”, the host can mute and unmute a student in your class multiple times, but only requesting permission from them once. To set this up, visit your Zoom dashboard at zoom.us/profile. Click on Settings, and scroll down to In Meeting (Advanced) and look for “Request permission to unmute”. Then, go to the settings in each of your individual meetings, and enable the checkbox next to this setting.
Suspend participant activity
This immediately mutes all participants, stops screen sharing, and ends breakout rooms. Great for an important announcement, or ending breakout sessions without having to wait for the 60 second countdown.