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.
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.
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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