Video communication platform Zoom became essential in 2020, as the world moved through the difficulties of a pandemic. It was used for inter-office communications, family get-togethers and study. It seems likely that the remainder of 2021 will see Zoom retain its popularity.
Now, Zoom has announced a Focus mode. It has been designed to assist teachers who have to handle handle classes of several pupils. Zoom says the mode has been tooled to stop students distracting each other while in a virtual classroom. The teacher, essentially the ‘controller of the call’ will still be able to keep an eye on them all.
When Zoom’s Focus mode is activated, participants in the call won’t be able to see each other – but the host will still be able to see the broadcasts from each person’s webcam. This feature will provide some of the control found in Zoom’s Webinar mode, but in a much simpler and more user-friendly format.
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The teacher will easily be able to switch Focus mode on and off – so it’s ideal for when they are making a presentation during a lesson (Focus on), and for any group discussion which may follow afterwards (Focus off).
The new feature on Zoom is a very simple but intelligent solution to the problem of students distracting each other during lessons. Due to its ease of use it will no doubt also have some use outside of the online classroom environment – in the workplace during meetings, for instance.