Thousands of students and teachers have discovered ZOOM, an online video/audio platform that allows you to see everyone in the meeting.
I can't get that song from the 80s out of my mind: Whose Zooming Who by Aretha Franklin. Check it out at the end of this post - it's a great bop.
But back to Zoom as a classroom tool. Look, I like to teach face to face. That is my happy place - where I experience what happiness experts call "flow" - when you are just completely caught up in the present moment and all your worries fade away. Well, it just isn't possible right now so the next best thing appears to be Zoom. I continue to "meet" my classes twice a week and I can see everyone and they can see me.
It is hard for students, of course, but there are some things can do to surf this zoom wave well, and make a positive impression on your teacher!
FIRST, if your professor is not using Zoom to connect with you, ask them to do so. It is a free account and they can use up to 40 minutes for FREE. If you know how to create a meeting, OFFER to HELP YOUR TEACHER set them up.
1. Mute your mic if your dogs or family members are having a party. :)
2. FOCUS - pay attention, nod, listen - do everything you would do in a regular face to face class. Your nonverbal communication will energize the experience. We have to make it as human as we possibly can.
3. Open up your video if possible, don't hide. If your room is a mess, use one of the countless 'Zoom backgrounds' you can download for free. When I sit in my bed, I put up a groovy coffee shop background.
4. Continue to participate! You can unmute to ask a question, use the chat function to make a comment or ask a question and raise your hand literally (just put it up and the teacher can see you) or use the little "raise hand" blue icon you can find when you click on manage participants.
5. If you need additional help and would ordinarily go to a prof's office hours, request a Zoom meeting instead.
6. If it is optional to attend zoom classes, go anyway! Go see your classmates, get out of this heavy, scary place we are all in right now.
7. Don't worry about the future of education - I have a feeling after this bout of online learning, we are all going to embrace those desks and classrooms again!
8. Follow basic rules of politeness and "netiquette" - don't insult other people or allow people to "zoom bomb" which means you give them the password and meeting code and they sneak in to hurl insults, swear or otherwise disrupt the class.
The amazing Aretha Franklin singing Whose Zoomin' Who!