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Here. These are in no particular order, neither organizationally or by priority, and are my personal experience. Some thoughts on a better @zoom_us room and online class, generally: 1/
@zoom_us They call it "video conferencing" (or somesuch) but don't discount the importance of audio. Use a good mic and find a quiet place. This will make a world of difference. Audio makes or breaks a class. 2/
@zoom_us Don't just use the Waiting Room feature. It's impersonal. I start my Zoom meetings about 20 minutes early and throw up this image with the Share Screen feature. It acknowledges the thing is about to happen. 3/
@zoom_us While doing that, I like to play some music. If you can hook your phone or tablet up to a mic input in your computer, you can do the same with more control than doing it via your computer. I usually use Spotify because everyone's got access to it. 4/
@zoom_us I also share the Spotify album link in the class Slack channel so students can go back and listen again later if they want. I'm told this is thoughtful and I have good taste in music. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 5/
@zoom_us Please, aim your webcam properly. Seeing someone's head in a lower corner of the camera (especially when their mouths are cut off) is both distracting and disturbing. Put your head at center top. It's okay if the very top of your head is cut off. Really. 6/
@zoom_us Along those lines, if you have notes on your screen, try to put them right by the camera. Otherwise, put whatever you're looking at most frequently there. It looks less like a surveillance camera that way. Eye contact (via the lens) is key. 7/
@zoom_us Zoom and its various windows can clutter a screen. If you have a second monitor you can hook up, do so. It's a whole different experience when you can spread things about. The last thing you want while teaching is having to hunt for a window. 8/
@zoom_us If you want to get super advanced, try using @OBSProject and the VirtualCam plugin to use your OBS feed as a camera source in Zoom. This lets you switch formats, add images, put up gifs, et cetera. (More on this later not in this thread.) 9/
@zoom_us @OBSProject I've taken to using game streamers' tactics in class rather than traditional screen sharing. This lets me have more control over what students see and keeps things much more dynamic. It also prioritizes cameras and not computers. 10/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Teaching online takes much, much more time to prepare for. You can't just start a Zoom room and wing it, even though you're the expert. Slide decks, code demonstrations, everything needs to be done beforehand. Don't underestimate this. 11/
@zoom_us @OBSProject I've found some teachers that are great in a classroom can get stilted and stiff in front of a camera. This just takes practice. Remember: it's the same students and they'll forgive you a tech difficulty or two. Really. It's okay to mess up. 12/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Like in a conference presentation, when you're answering a student question, repeat that question. Zoom's auto-transcription is more likely to properly transcribe it if it's got two chances. (You should be doing this anyway for confirmation, of course.) 13/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Students' videos being on is cool. It builds community. It also kills bandwidth, so encourage them to keep their videos off until they're actively participating (same with their mics). Keep in mind some students' internet may not be reliable. 14/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Holding down the spacebar will temporarily unmute you. Best Zoom tip there is, right there, classes or otherwise. 15/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Don't forget to hit record. You can also set your cloud recordings to automatically start (I don't; see #2) and also automatically add a password (that you can change or remove later). Best practices (unless you forget, which I've done and it's embarrassing). 16/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Remind students that their built-in mics and cameras are just fine for this. Even their phones (assuming they're not driving) are fine. Something is better than nothing, after all. That said, turn on the Enable HD feature if you can. You, at least, should be in HD. 17/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Again, don't forget to share the Zoom recording link with the class. I teach evenings so this often isn't until the next morning. Just don't forget. Also, please record your class so students that miss can get the experience. Please. 18/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Try to use something like Google Slides or your own web-based slide deck rather than a local Powerpoint. Give your students the link to the deck while you're teaching. Shared screens can be hard to read sometimes and this gives them more options even during the class. 19/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Likewise, if you're sharing, share a WINDOW and not a DESKTOP. Size the windows properly. Zoom in if you can. Otherwise, it's like every student is sitting in the back of the lecture hall, squinting. That's not good for anybody. 20/
@zoom_us @OBSProject As I think of more I'll add to this thread. This is, of course, all assuming you've got the basics of teaching with @zoom_us down and want to streamline, be more efficient, and take the experience to the next (more considerate) level. Hope it's helpful. end...?/
@zoom_us @OBSProject Here's a great human-focused thread (whereas mine is more tech-focused) from @slamteacher
Another great thread with a tremendous collection of resources from @nanaslugdiva
I imagine lots of teachers are nervous about a possible sudden modality shift to online thanks to #COVID19 and if they'll be any good at it. Totally understandable. It's a skill that has to be honed. Just remember:
If anyone thinks audio quality in online classes isn't a priority, just try talking about 'heteroscedasticity' when your audio is cutting in and out.
If you want to be a better teacher--face-to-face or online, either--you need two things: pedagogy and performance. I'm not joking when I say this: sign up for an improv class.
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