How to Use Zoom for Distance Learning

Raise your hand if you’re a bit nervous about video conferencing with your class. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you are working with Zoom, we have everything you need to make your virtual class meetings run smoothly.

Getting Started

The signup process is pretty quick and easy. If you can, use your school email to sign up. Zoom is offering more features to educators during school closures and you’ll be able to have more time in each session. Once you have created an account, make sure to download the Zoom Desktop Application. Check out this video to learn more about Getting Started with Zoom.

Hosting a meeting

Zoom makes it easy to schedule meetings with your class. When you create a meeting, you can copy and paste the meeting info into an email or calendar invite so all your students and families can access it. Check out this video from Zoom to learn how to Schedule a Meeting.

Zoom offers calendar integration with Google, Outlook and Yahoo calendars. You can also install the Zoom Scheduler for Chrome to automatically add a zoom meeting to your calendar invites. If you are using Google Classroom, you can create and invite in Google Calendar and invite your whole class. Just type the name of your class in the add guest box and then add select the class you wish to invite. 

Meeting Tools

Zoom offers tons of tools for meeting hosts. Many of these can be super helpful for conducting virtual lessons. With Zoom, you can share your screen to demonstrate how to do an assignment, show a video or share a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation. You can even share a website like Lalilo and do a phonics lesson or read aloud with your whole class or small group.

In the screen sharing section, you can also access the whiteboard. Here you can write or draw just like you would on the whiteboard in your classroom! You can also record the entire meeting or just part of it so that students can watch it again later.

Zoom has created a tutorial to show you all about the  Meeting Controls and to give you a tour of the meeting room.

Classroom Management

While classroom management will look different online, Zoom offers several features to help! You can use the gallery view to see all the students at the same time and assess students’ engagement. There is also a breakout room feature that allows you to group students for small group work and discussions. Students can also communicate using their microphones or the chat feature.

All these features are controlled by you. You can enable or disable them at any time, making it easier to manage the class while you are teaching. Take a look at this video to learn more about Managing Participants on Zoom.

More Resources

Zoom has put together a ton of information and tutorials to help you get more familiar with their platform. We have also found some great ideas from other organizations and teachers on how to use Zoom for distance learning. Check out the list below of resources and videos to help you become a Zoom teaching expert. Don’t forget to comment below with your favorite Zoom tips and tricks. 

Zoom Help Center

Comprehensive Guide to Educating Through Zoom

Zoom Video Tutorials 

Virginia Virtual Zoom Training

Using Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet From friEdTechnology

Teaching Using Zoom from Not So Wimpy Teacher

How to use the Whiteboard in Zoom From Flipped Classroom Tutorials 

Zoom Tutorial for Teachers from Simply Kinder

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