9 New Zoom Features (and one that’s Kind of Creepy) Announced April 19, 2022

Zoom has announced a slew of new features that educators have been longing to have. This blog will go over the highlights of gesture recognition, viewing all of the breakout rooms from the main room. (Yes!) And even a way to implement Chat etiquette policies. There's also a new (kinda creepy) Sales tool that I've heard will lead into education at some point and my concerns about that.

I've shared how to engage students and teach effectively in zoom, but many of the concerns raised in that podcast have been solved with this one update!

Let's dive in with a quick overview of some of the new Zoom features, but remember that you need to update zoom if you're running the room to get these features. I also recommend logging into your settings to double-check if there are new settings you need to fix to make them happen.

New Zoom Features Announced on April 19, 2022

1. Real Gestures translate into room gestures

How many times do you ask students to raise their hand and they physically raise their hand? No more. Raised hands and thumbs up in the physical sense are recognized by zoom with gesture recognition and translated into hands up and thumbs up in the room.

2. Add video to the waiting room

You can now add a video to the waiting room. This would be a good way to use that time to introduce students who come early to a topic or to share something you want them to see before class starts as sort of a bell ringer!

3. View Breakout Rooms from the Main Room — YES!!

Oh my goodness! This has been the number one thing I”ve heard educators beg for. “Can't I just see the breakout rooms in one place?” Yes you can!

If this means you can have breakout rooms now, learn more about how to set them up. I like to pre-assign breakout rooms. It just makes it easier. The only glitch I had was if a student didn't sign in with their assigned email, I still had to manually assign them.

4. New Zoom Whiteboard

The new Zoom whiteboard looks like a drawing, collaborative tool like you can use in Nearpod, Peardeck, Lumio or Google Jamboard. See Zoom's support files about how to get started with the whiteboard and how to configure it. (I have a friend who works at a college who says they are moving many of their professors who don't have Miro subscriptions to zoom because this whiteboard is so powerful.)

5. Central Library of Polls

You can create a library of polls and then pull from them.

6. Can disable notifications for the meeting and chat

If you're tired of the notifications of people entering the room or chatting, you can turn them off now.

7 Chat Etiquette Policies

If you have a business, education, or enterprise account, you can access the new Zoom feature – chat etiquette policy. Again, make sure zoom is updated on your computer as these policies are “client side” meaning they are on the individual computer with the policies setup by administrators. You can filter words not allowed in the chat and such. Zoom has a full set of instructions on setting up and using this feature.

8. One time password for “suspicious” logins (not using assigned email.)

When someone clicks a link but logs in with an email not officially invited (like a personal account), they have to enter a password as part of 2 factor authentication.

9. Zoom Webinar has reaction emoji's!

You can have webinar participants have reaction emojis which is cool.

And now for the Creepy New Zoom Feature

Zoom “IQ” for Sales

Zoom says this feature is “conversational intelligence add-on for Zoom meetings.” So, take a look at the screenshot and imagine how this will look in education.

Image Credit: Zoom

While looking at the graphic, we can see that it shows.

  • Team talk time
  • Whether the buyer is patient
  • The time the buyer spent looking at slides
  • If the buyer is asking engaging questions
  • How often the competition was mentioned
  • What features the buyer wants
  • And an ability to play the ‘highlights' after the meeting.

Before you get excited about what it does for your students, I'm asking you to remember something! “team talk time” would be “teacher talk time.” And if students are disengaged, now there is a measurement tool for it. Such a tool cuts both ways and if it was used on teachers, I would also say it should be used for principals in staff meetings.

We also know that when a tool is first implemented that it can be “clunky” at best and downright discriminatory when it hasn't been programmed with enough data or the right kind of data. AI can be a challenge and while it is coming to business now, it is a matter of time for it to be in with schools particularly in light of Intel's “teaching tool” to monitor class emotions.

In Conclusion

These new zoom changes and others are welcome. However, AI and gestures can also have their own set of issues. I think I'm going to start with making students aware these tools exist.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere