Zoom Responds to Educator Demands with Launch of Virtual Background Support for Chromebooks, Video Messages in Zoom Chat, Chat Room Enhancements, and Anywhere Polling
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced at the CoSN2022 national conference, new features for education in response to requests from teachers and administrators. These features cover Zoom’s chat and meetings offerings and are designed to help teachers who need to engage and manage students joining the class remotely or submitting assignments.
Virtual and blurred background for Chromebooks
Chromebooks are a popular choice for students and teachers. Virtual and blurred background are now available for Zoom for Chrome Progressive Web App (PWA) users. Zoom developed this capability in response to requests from various education customers, including Clayton County Public Schools, one of the 100 largest school districts in the United States, serving more than 52,000 students in Georgia.
“Virtual background and blur for Chromebooks is extremely beneficial to our students and teachers. Many students were reluctant to turn on their cameras prior to this feature enhancement,” said Rod Smith, Chief Technology Officer, Clayton County Public Schools.
Breakout Room Improvements
Breakout rooms, a popular educational feature, have also received improvements in this latest version. Program audio allows meeting hosts to share content with audio in breakout rooms, adding the ability to share video with audio. With the Improved LTI Pro integration, teachers can populate breakout rooms from the course list. This can be used to assign breakout rooms in advance and then automatically sort students into breakout rooms.
Additional Chat and Waiting Room Features
Other new features include send audio and video messages in Zoom Chatand the ability to rename participants in the waiting room. Asynchronous video gives users time to reflect on their responses, then record them as needed to provide carefully crafted responses. Users can click on “video” at the bottom of the chat client and record up to 3 minutes of video message that goes directly into the non-meeting chat channel. This is useful in situations such as students submitting brief video assignments. Renaming participants before they join the meeting can be useful for taking attendance when students may be using shared devices, for creating an anonymous student group, or for affirming gender identity.
All over the polls
Anywhere Polls will allow poll content to live in a central repository accessible from any meeting on an account, instead of being associated with a particular meeting. This will make it easier for instructors to reuse surveys and will also be beneficial for grading. This feature will be available soon.
“We look forward to the Anywhere Polls feature,” said John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D., President and CEO of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. “Enhancements to surveys will make it easier for large groups of students to provide feedback across the College. It will be easier than ever for instructors to reproduce the content of each course. »
“Delivering happiness to our customers is at the heart of what we do at Zoom,” said Johann Zimmern, head of global education strategy, Zoom. “We work closely with our global K-12 and higher education customers, taking their requests into account and involving them in feature development. As a direct result of this, Zoom has developed these new exciting features for education.”
For more details on Zoom’s new education features, please see our blog here.
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