When you are tutoring online, then you want to make sure that you use the best tools at your disposal. After all, your main goal is to ensure that your students can succeed.
As an online tutor, I have already used a wide range of tools, just like many other tutors. However, there is a tool that I find crucial and that I use all the time – Zoom.
What is Zoom?
Put merely, Zoom is a unique video conferencing platform that helps you interact with your students by only using a camera and a microphone. While you probably don’t see the point in using Zoom instead of Skype, for example, the reality is that the differences are enormous. Not only the connection remains stable during the entire time, as it is very user-friendly.
Why I Use Zoom
As I already mentioned above, Zoom is the tool I use every single time. But why?
As an online tutor, you know that while sometimes you will be tutoring a student on a one-on-one class and other times, you will need to gather a group of students. With Zoom, this isn’t a problem. After all, you can set up a chat room for just one student or different chat rooms for different students.
You know that sometimes, a student may need extra support in some areas. So, having a chat room only for them may be more beneficial.
No matter the reason or how many different chat rooms you create, you can go from one room to the other to help your students.
#2: Use Of Visuals:
As you know, using visuals is very important when you are tutoring online. And Zoom allows you to use many different tools to make this platform work for you. From audio sharing during screen sharing to mobile collaboration with co-annotation, simply chat or group messaging, closed captioning, and even MPEG-4 cloud recording, you can do it all.
All these tools will allow you to keep your students engaged and eager to learn.
#3: No Interruptions:
One of the main differences between Zoom and other tools I used is that there are no interruptions while I’m tutoring. And this is perfect. After all, interruptions don’t only wast time as your students lose track of what they were listening to or doing.
#4: Works On All Operating Systems And Devices:
No matter if your students are on their laptops or using a tablet, they can still access Zoom and all its capabilities. Besides, Zoom also provides Chrome OS and Linux support.
So, no matter what, you will be able to create groups, take screenshots, send invitations and files during lessons, mute or unmute participants, and even lock the room.
Backgrounds for Zoom
If you don’t want your students to see your home during an online class, you can use virtual backgrounds for Zoom
It is quite easy to use a background on Zoom, but if you want funny Zoom backgrounds, Pocket-Lint has some of the funniest backgrounds to download.
You can use any image you like as long as it is not too dark, bright, or has too many distractions.
FBI warning Zoom – Important Update April 2020
In times of Covid-19, video conferences are indispensable, and beside some other online conference platforms, Zoom is particularly popular for this. Although the software provider Zoom celebrates gigantic successes for video conferencing, it is currently causing many negative headlines and is coming under criticism on several points.
After Zoom’s iPhone app passed data to Facebook without the user’s knowledge, the company apologized and adjusted its guidelines. The company now states that it does not sell any personal data and does not use the data collected based on use of it’s services, including meetings, for advertising purposes.
Because the video service can be used directly in the browser without an additional program, Zoom can bypass browser security protocols to access its webcams. Hackers could use this to spy on people.
Security hackers reported some cases of virtual attacks. Some video conferences were “Zoom-bombed”. Hackers were able to participate in video conferences by merely trying out links. School reported cases, where online lessons were bombed with displayed Nazi symbols or pornography. It is, therefore vital to set the video chats to “private” in the settings.
Can I still use Zoom?
We read the zoom FBI warning with caution and considered all the factors into our decision whether we should still use Zoom and how to make online lessons more secure.
In our opinion, Zoom is still the best platform to use for online teaching as it is easy to use and has many great features. As long as you handle the platform with caution, it is can still be safe to use.
It is the host’s responsibility to make the meeting as safe as possible.
Here are our safety tips, how you can keep the ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers away:
- Keep in mind that a public link is public and can easily be hacked. Share the link only with people you trust.
- If you can, use a personal meeting ID and set up a password for all participants. Before entering the meeting, the participants will have to verify their entry.
Once you are in the meeting:
- Adjust the share screen options. Make sure that you are the only person who is in control of the entire meeting. The host should be the only user who can share.
- Only signed-in participants should be able to join the meeting.
For even more security, learn how to:
- set two-factor authentication
- remove unwanted or disruptive participants
- disable video for participants
- disable private chat
- everything is being recorded
- if you feel unsafe, report directly to Zoom.