Top Tips and Tricks for Teachers Using Zoom for 2022

Online Zoom classes have become more popular than ever as a by-product of the pandemic. 

Online Zoom classes offer many benefits over traditional classrooms. For example, you can easily share materials and videos without special classroom equipment. In addition, zoom has built-in features to help students with disabilities. And you can record classes so students can review them later.

But making the transition to online classes can be challenging. Online classes pose different challenges for teachers and students.

Online classes can even change the way children’s brains develop. Visit this page to learn more about how the brain works. Plus, you’ll discover some great lesson plan ideas for teaching about the human body.

So to make your online classes fun and engaging, read on to discover the top tips and tricks when teaching with Zoom.

Preparing for Your Online Zoom Class

Preparation is key to conducting successful online Zoom classes. 

  • Make sure that you have Zoom installed on your computer.
  • Watch the Basic In-Meeting Navigation video to familiarize yourself with the controls and practice using the Zoom features.
  • Schedule your Zoom class and send invites to students. Be sure to ask if any have special needs.
  • Send instructions to any co-presenters or guest speakers.
  • Make sure your space is quiet with minimal background noise.
  • Consider using a webcam rather than a built-in computer camera for better video quality.
  • Use a good microphone or, better yet, a noise-canceling headset.
  • Prepare your lesson plan and any materials you’ll need during class.
  • Prepare a welcome slide with the start time and participant instructions.
  • Enable a waiting room to prevent unwanted visitors when starting your Zoom session.
  • Test your audio and video and make sure there are no distractions.
  • Select mute participants so that students’ microphones are muted when they join the classroom

Important Tip: disable your audio and video until you’re ready to begin. Also, mute anyone who isn’t speaking to minimize background noise and keep students focused.

Top Tips to Use During Your Zoom Class

  • Lock the meeting once all the students have arrived to prevent unwanted guests.
  • Don’t forget to press record. Recording to the Cloud will make it easy to share with students.

Tip: record shorter segments rather than just one long one when possible. Zoom can process these videos faster.

  • Take a moment to make sure that students can hear and see you.
  • For the first class, set aside time to introduce yourself and go over online etiquette and class expectations.
  • Ask students to rename themselves so that everyone can use their preferred name.
  • Use Zoom’s screen-sharing feature to share your lesson plan at the beginning of class to prepare students for the material. This will ensure that they clearly know what to expect, how the class will proceed, and any in-class exercises.
  • To prevent students from talking over each other and so all students can participate, keep students muted and have them use the raise hand or chat functions to ask questions or make comments, 

Keeping Students Engaged in Online Zoom Classes

Keeping students focused is a challenge when teaching online Zoom classes. Ensure your lesson is well-planned and provides lots of opportunities for students to interact during the class. The following tips will help keep your classes fun and engaging.

  • Look into the camera to keep eye contact and keep students focused.
  • Take frequent pauses to allow students time to comment or ask questions.
  • Use Zoom’s polling feature to test comprehension of the material presented before proceeding.
  • Have students use the thumbs-up button to let you know that they’re with you
  • Students can use the speed-up/slow-down option to let you know if you’re going at the right pace.
  • Use the whiteboard feature for math problems or to highlight key points.
  • Have students highlight or make notes on a document you’re sharing
  • When sharing slides, documents, or images, give your students a moment to open and review them before continuing.
  • Ask questions and give students time to answer via chat or ask to be unmuted to use the audio.
  • Have students present and share topics with the class to build their presentation skills.
  • Break the class into smaller groups using Zoom’s Breakout Room feature to discuss topics and then rejoin the class to present their findings. Note: when recording, the smaller breakout rooms won’t be recorded. 

Tip: For larger class sizes, assign a co-presenter to monitor and respond to student questions. See Using a Co-Host in a Meeting on Zoom’s Help page.

So take a moment to incorporate these tips and tricks into your next online Zoom class. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make online classes fun and engaging. You may never want to return to a traditional classroom again.