According to the World Economic Forum global downloads of Zoom in March 2020 increased by 100 per cent due to the global pandemic forcing many schools and universities to move to remote learning via videoconferencing tools.
Although the personal interaction is different there are many features that make Zoom the ideal learning platform for students. Zoom is known for its better connection compared to other video conferencing tools.
In today’s blog post we will talk through some of these key features that can be used during an online language lesson.
Students love sending emojis to each other or receiving one from the teacher when they get something right or do well. This can really brighten up a lesson and add an extra bit of fun to learning.
One advantage of online lessons is that the tutor can choose to record the whole lesson or sections of the lesson that will be useful for the student to keep as a reference to look back on in future. You can choose to record to the cloud or to your computer. These video files can then be easily accessed to watch as many times as necessary at any point after the session if the student needs to check something or to refer back for homework.
You can easily study web pages such as online newspaper articles, interviews, video clips and pause them to explain things or annotate key words and phrases in the text to explain to the student.
A really nice tool you can use when you are reading a text or online web page is to highlight or underline particular words and phrases that you want the student to learn or understand how they are formed. With the annotate tool you can easily label pictures, draw symbols and add extra notes to pages that you can then save for future reference.
The teacher or the student can decide to share their screen so that the other person can see the document or web page they want them to see.
You can easily play recordings either you have made or podcasts you have saved by clicking on “Share” and then “share computer sound” so that the student can hear the audio through their own computer.
Another option under “Share” is “whiteboard”. By opening the whiteboard the teacher has a blank screen to type in text, draw pictures or diagrams to provide extra explanation to the student. You can type, draw, highlight, underline using different thicknesses of lines, erase things and change the colour of the font.
The student can also write things on it for the teacher to check.
You can click on “Chat” at the bottom of the screen to open up the chat box. This allows you to type in words and phrases that you can both see. This could be useful for example if you want to make sure the student has written the correct spelling of a word or if they don’t know how to spell a word, you can type it for them. Or you can get the student to type their attempt and you can correct it if it is wrong.
There is also the option to send a file from your computer to the student during the lesson itself. If you have any Word documents or pdf files that would be useful to what you are explaining, you can send them to the student in real time.
Zoom allows you to connect your ipad or iphone to demonstrate to a student how to use a language learning app such as Memrise, Duolingo or Quizlet.
If you are teaching groups of students together this tool allows you to split people up into pairs to work together without everyone else hearing.
This feature allows you to open up several different “rooms” for a set amount of time for students to work in smaller groups say to practise a role play. This is particularly good as it means all the students in the group will get to speak for more time than if the group stayed as a larger group for the whole lesson.