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How to Use Zoom in 2020 for Video Tutoring

With schools closed, children homebound, and teacher's sending lessons and assignments, online tutoring and academic support is at an all-time high.  In-person sessions have been the preference, but with the coronavirus sweeping across the globe, online instruction offers a safe and effective option.
What is the Best Platform for Conducting Online Sessions with Students?
Although there are many conferencing devices out there, I have found that Zoom offers the best features and seems to be the most stable platform.  Zoom can be used on virtually any computing device and browser.  Here are just a few:
  • mac
  • PC
  • Ubuntu
  • Mint
  • Linux 
  • Surface Pro
  • iOS & Android devices
  • Blackberry devices

Zoom offers a Number of Excellent Features for Student Sessions:
Zoom presents many useful tools:
  1. One or more participants can participate in a single Zoom session.  Zoom allows you to share with up to 100 participants for their free or low paying options.
  2. Session recordings - When a session begins, select the record button.  After the session is over, the recording downloads to your computer and you can send a copy to the participants.
  3. Share or send documents, PowerPoints, online study tools such as Quizlet or Quizizz, and other files from sites such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Box.  
  4. Dropdown annotations allow all the participants to draw, type text, or interact over images or documents. This is ideal for completing activities. 
  5. A chat box where you can share ideas and links.
  6. Screen sharing - Any Zoom participant can share their screen or documents.  So, for example, a student can share an assignment, and while they are working on it, you can provide oral or written comments. 
More About Screen Sharing
Screen sharing is an outstanding feature that allows any of the participants to share:
  • an iPhone or iPad via AirPlay or via a cable:  I love this because I can easily illustrate math concepts using a drawing app with my Apple Pencil Stylus.
  • an interactive whiteboard:  This is a fun option because any participant can draw or type on the screen to brainstorm ideas.  You simply use the drop-down menu and select annotations to receive the following options.
  • any online pages or documents that are already open on your computer.
  • your whole desktop while maintaining total control.
  • contents on a camera.
  • a portion of the screen.
  • files from Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or Box.
  • written comments or drawings using the annotation menu above.  This feature does not overwrite the page or document you are viewing, it simply allows you to draw on a separate layer that can be cleared by selecting the trash icon at any time. 
What Does Zoom Cost?
Zoom is free for one to one sessions.  For group sessions, it is free up to 45 minutes.  For advanced scheduling and cloud storage, you can pay 14.99 a month.  You can save an additional $30 if you choose to pay annually.

Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.

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