A preferred platform for virtual classes by many educational institutes across the country, Zoom Video Communications has planned to launch new features to improvise virtual teaching. These include customisable gallery view, multi-pinning, multi-spotlight, unmute with consent, breakout room flexibility, and more.
The enhance class management feature will include the ability to create a virtual classroom seating arrangement, spotlight on a group of presenting students and custom meeting views.
Customisable Gallery View will allow dragging and dropping participants in gallery view into whatever order they choose. This locks the gallery into a fixed configuration that won't shift when a new person speaks or enters the room. Teachers can have students follow their view for a custom seating arrangement, which is handy for activities that involve "going around the room" in a certain order. In a future update, teachers will be able to save their custom gallery layout as a virtual seating chart as well.
Multi-pinning will allow a user to pin up to nine participants on-screen in their custom personal view. Zoom says this will be helpful for teachers and students that use American Sign Language because it does not automatically trigger the speaker to appear in the speaker view. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing can pin both teacher and interpreter on the screen for a more accessible learning experience. Similarly, teachers will be able to put spotlight on up to nine participants for the entire meeting, creating a custom, focussed group view that will be visible to the entire class.
The feature 'unmute with consent' can come handy as a teacher may want the ability to selectively unmute participants' audio. This arises in situations where students may not have the ability to unmute themselves, such as classes for grades K-2, where students have physical or other constraints preventing them from accessing the mute controls and physical exercise classes where students may be placed at a distance from their device, and more.
Zoom is improvising student engagement too with the breakout room flexibility. In a short period, students will have the ability to select a breakout room and move between rooms. This will allow greater flexibility in the way to structure small group learning. Teachers can create themed breakout rooms or reading groups and invite students to move between them based on their interests in topics. The possibilities are endless, so get creative!
Accessible for teachers and students everywhere, these features will be available for free.