Teacher Features

HI, friends. This week, I am chatting about my favorite teacher features in Zoom. I use these every day in my teaching. I support struggling readers, and these features help me make them successful. They may seem simple, but they make a huge impact on how I teach and keep them engaged and focused. I hope they will also help you with supporting your students.

Marker Blocker

This feature I'm discussing first for a reason. I like to introduce it to my students on the first day of us learning together. For my young students, I stomp my feet and say "Oh Oh, the marker blockers are coming". This means that I am disabling the annotation. When they are out of control on the screen, the marker blocker comes. You have to maintain control during a teaching session, and the marker blocker can help. If they are able to scribble all over the screen, then things are definitely out of control.

Here is a picture of how to find the Marker Blocker or to disable annotation.

Pinning or Spotlight

This is probably my favorite feature. Pinning, or the Spotlight feature, allows you, or your student, to pin you in their video. Initially, it gives you a preview of how you and your teaching background look. With this, you can take advantage of any empty space in the viewing area by adding useful props. Next, it keeps you on the screen, meaning that you don't leave the main picture. When someone speaks, you stay pinned and centered just like with direct instruction.

Finally, if you teach your student to pin you on their side, there's less distractions in their environment. Again, you are front and center during the lesson. I've found that students don't play with their hair like they're in a beauty parlor when they see that I'm always there.💇‍♀️ Pinning works best when there is only video and audio being used. The Spotlight feature is similar, except that it is used when you have three or more students in the Zoom meeting. As the meeting host, you are in control on who is pinned. Here is a link on how to pin effectively: Click here.

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