Interactive Zoom Classes

This is not the greatest post for any lurkers from outside the College as the resources require HFC logins.

The CTEI with the support and encouragement of the Instructional Technology Committee offered two sessions on making Zoom more interactive. One session coming up this Friday has limited seats and might not be at a convenient time for you.

However, we did record our March 25 session where we worked with Microsoft Forms, Mentimeter, Socrative, Zoom’s internal quizzing, and Google sheets. If yo uare looking for a tool to informally assess what your students think of the class this is a great session to help you decide on what tool to use.

At the CTEI Mentors HFC Online site (login required) you can find links to the software used.

At the College’s Microsoft Stream site you can find a video (login required).

Zoom Break out Rooms Now Allow Participant Choice

I may be the one behind the times here but this surprised me when I learned it last night. (Edit: I am. It is a 5 month old feature). You can now allow Zoom participants to choose their own break out room.

Here is what setting that up looks like (you just have to check one box if you are already used to using break out rooms).

This is a long overdue feature that I can definitely see using in a number of ways. Two come to mind immediately. I can see this being useful at the end of a class to let students work together on different items. Or, if you are hosting a tutoring session you could have areas for quiet study and for collaboration.

Prezi Presentations in Zoom Video

OK, I couldn’t wait to play with Prezi’s Zoom integration (sorry math students who will have their papers graded tonight instead of this afternoon). I have used Prezi before so I had a bit of an advantage of knowing what to do so I created the following video in about half an hour including all prep time. If you did not know about the Prezi pathway and if Prezi hadn’t done a lot of automating the pathway recently (I couldn’t find the controls for this) it would take longer.

I would consider using this on an introduction or review day when I was looking for a little flashiness and their probably wouldn’t be a lot of varying from the script. It might make true interaction more difficuly (although you could turn off the Prezi overlay and switch to screen sharing at any time).

Anyway. This is an actual recording of a Zoom meeting a ran to see how the Prezi/Zoom integration works.

A brain that looks like it might be exploding
Mind blown!

This thing is addictive. Here is how you could use it for context cues for what is happening in class with screen shares.

One more idea of how to use this. I am not sure that this is better than Screencast-O-Matic with a talking window overlay, but it is different and at least gets at my third level of my teaching philosophy (I’m in the class space a lot of time during the semester and I should enjoy it.)

Outlook Add-in for Zoom

I know many of you are using Zoom to deliver at least some of your remote instruction or for some of your meetings at the College. Here is how you more easily schedule Zoom meetings if you are using the Outlook desktop application.

It looks like once you set this up it works in the web client as well.

Using Zoom as Lecture Capture

This may be obvious but you can have a Zoom meeting with just yourself to make a video. Start the recording, launch the window you want to share, or a whiteboard and off you go . . . I upload the recording to Youtube for captioning. If I am feeling very professional that day I will add punctuation to my captions. 

(Also, that first Greek letter is mu. I’m blaming the microphone not the brain.)


Yuja is another option for this. Directions for using Yuja are in the Moodle/HFCOnline course shared with us earlier this week.

Teams will also allow similar capture. Watch for materials soon!

Weekend Wildcards

I have received a lot of helpful hints from teachers testing tools.

1. Pam Powwow: Pamela Stewart has set up a recurring ZOOM Faculty meeting that’ll happen every Friday @ 10am beginning March 27th.


This will be an informal session to discuss how the first week went and (if anyone is interested) she’ll show how to set up and share a ZOOM meeting in HFC Online.

2. Presentation Product: Jessica Shamberger recommends Loom. “there’s software called Loom that I have been using as well, which is a presenting and screen-casting tool [emphasis added] that is really good as an alternativefor having to explain a lot of information via email or through a messaging app. It’s free to educators right now and SUPER EASY, which is most important for me. There are several tutorials on it. I have included a video I did for my class just as an example of what it is, which isHERE

 3. Monday Morning Mentor (Timely Topic)  (ooh, thanks for the alliteration Magna):

What Teaching Strategies Help Engage All Learners Online? (available March 23 – 29)

4. Tutorial Builder: [Alliteration can be hard] Jessica Shamberger also uses a tool called iorad, “… which is a tutorial builder software (there is a free version which I use). It tracks and types out all your activity you do on webpage and then has a text-to-speech dictation for any hand-written instructions. Also, it allows students to view the tutorial in video form, interactive form (where they actually need to follow each step on screen in order to move to the next slide) or it can produce a PDF version. I included a link here that shows one example I made for one of my lower level classes about the HFC website with all the change information for the semester”

5. Todd Teams: Todd Browning has worked a little with Teams the last week and is willing to give some help. Since there are hundreds of us and only one Todd, in the short term please ask specific questions if you are seriously considering it. Our IT department has commissioned a collection of resources on how to use Teams that should be ready soon as well.

6. Distance Deportment: Jessica Shamberger recommends this article as a starting place for teachers or students wondering about video chat etiquette.

7. Zoom Zine: Vinita Parekh found this introduction to Zoom teleconferencing software posted by Case Western University helpful:

ELI Faculty Experiences with Big Blue Button and Zoom

Pamela Stewart

As we march toward online instruction, many of us continue to ponder how to share content and our presence with students. Selecting a tool to get the job done without adding to student stress (not to mention our own), is proving a challenge.  ELI Instructors conducted virtual meetings this week using both HFC Online’s Big Blue Button (BBB) tool and Zoom.  What follows are my personal observations.

ELI faculty test drove BBB on Monday. Adding the tool and setting up the meeting was quite easy. Video, audio, shared white board, and text chat make this ideal for real-time work with small groups of students. Sessions can be recorded so that students can watch at their convenience, an important consideration.  I’ve been assured that sessions will save beyond seven days. Although the Moodle BBB help page clearly states that Big Blue Button for Schools can host up to 100 users simultaneously, that was not the case for us. We experienced connectivity challenges and sound intermittently disappeared during our hour-long meeting of 17 instructors.  Still, I will probably use this tool (or YuJa) to record and share lessons.

Yesterday, a small group of instructors tried out Zoom. Setting up a personal account was quick and free. We learned the 40 minute limit attached to the free version has been lifted in light of our current world reality. Like BBB, video, audio, chat, recording, and limited sharing are available. I say limited because our experience showed that only one user can control/edit the white board at a time. One of us was on a Mac, the other an iPad, and I used my Lenovo laptop. My non-Apple product seemed to have reduced function as compared to my colleagues. I was unable to share content or my screen. I was also connected to this meeting with my iPhone (as I anticipate that’s how my students will connect). Getting into the meeting required several steps, as I had to enter a Meeting ID and Password  – I didn’t like that. On the positive side, this tool provided clear, crisp sound and picture with no connectivity trouble or sound drops on either device. On my phone, however, I was unable to see my meeting moderator’s screen shares via Zoom. Given the reduced function on my iPhone, I probably won’t use Zoom for live student connection.

Today, I’ll connect to BBB with my iPhone to see if I’m able to view the white board and shared content that weren’t available to me through Zoom. Earlier this week, I polled my ELI students with a Google form asking about their technology tools and current online learning experience. Interestingly, just over 40% of them are familiar with BBB. A slightly higher number are familiar with Skype, while just 24% know of Zoom. If you’re interested in Google forms, click the hyperlink to watch my screencast (but please ignore the barking dog).