New education features will help teachers and students.
Zoom has introduced new features to enhance hybrid learning in the education sector. | April 13, 2022
At the CoSN2022 national conference, Zoom announced new Zoom Chat and Meetings features to aid in remote teaching and work sharing.
The key updates relate to virtual backgrounds and blur for Chromebooks, breakout rooms, Chat, Waiting Room, and Anywhere Polls.
Johann Zimmern, Global Education Strategy Lead, Zoom, said: “Delivering happiness to our customers is the core of what we do at Zoom.
“We work closely with our global K-12 and higher education customers, taking their requests into account and involving them in feature development. As a direct result of this, Zoom developed these exciting new features for education.”
Virtual Backgrounds and Blur for Chromebooks: Zoom for Chrome Progressive Web Application (PWA) users can now use virtual backgrounds and blur.
Breakout Rooms: Hosts can share content, such as video, with audio to Breakout Rooms through Zoom’s Program Audio feature release. Breakout Rooms can also be assigned in advance with the integration of LTI Pro.
Chat: Audio and video messages can be sent via Zoom Chat. Users will be able to record videos up to three minutes long, which are then transferred to the out-of-meeting chat channel. The new feature will purportedly make it easier for students to create and send short video assignments.
Waiting Room: Participants in the waiting room can be renamed, which Zoom believes will make it easier to record student attendance, form anonymous student groups, and display gender identities.
Anywhere Polls: Anywhere Polls stores polling data, separate from individual meetings, allowing teachers to reuse polls. It will also allegedly make marking students’ work easier. This feature will be released soon.
Zoom claims to have made these changes following requests from a number of educational institutions, such as Clayton County Public Schools in Georgia, which has more than 52,000 students.