12 Zoom Tips for Primary and Elementary School Teachers

Help to Get Your Online Zoom, Teams, Google Meet Catch-Ups, Quizzes, Classes and Games Be a Success

a typical video call screen

Online meetings, zoom classes, quizzes are an essential element of learning and teaching online but what happens when it goes wrong?

You may have heard the story of the teacher trying out hosting a zoom class. Nervous, but off to a great start, then accidentally delegates hosting power to the wrong user, only to find that one of the 5-year-olds in the lesson can now mute and unmute everyone at will. Or take the other zoom user who wore a lovely expensive strapless summer top. The camera position to other users was trimmed in such a way that they appeared topless.

These stories, now infamous, of course, may just be modern urban legends. But to stop this or something similar happening to you, we have lined up some tips to help your online sessions be successful.

combined thumbnails of the 2 pdfs for zoom tips
Pdf poster and tick sheet

There are colourful posters and a tick sheet to download and print at the bottom of the page.

Go to straight the pdfs

12 Tips

  • 1. Greet everyone by name.

    Say hello to everyone who joins. Welcome them during the first few minutes whilst people are joining, sorting out their sound and adjusting their screens.

  • 2. Mute everyone else when you are talking.

    If you are the host and it is you running the class or quiz then make sure you mute everyone else. Being familiar with how to mute and unmute all will benefit your smooth running.

  • 3. Mute your app noises and yourself when you're not talking.

    Mute or switch off any pings, rings or reminders. If you have long periods when you are not speaking or not expected to 'jump in' then mute yourself. Running taps, creaky floorboards, curtains or blinds blowing can make noises that get picked up on your device.

  • 4. Adjust your settings when playing music or video sound.

    The tech used to get clearer voices in a meeting can make music or video clips sound distorted. There are settings in zoom to 'Use Original Sound', 'Enable Original Sound' and 'Turn On Original Sound'. The wording of the feature depends on what kind of device you are using.

  • 5. Inspect your background.

    Check what others will be able to see in your background. It doesn't have to be a blank wall, you can let your personality shine through by having coloured posters and props. Look out for items that people may spot that you didn't intend to be in your meeting. Open wine bottles, half-eaten food and divorce papers are amongst items that have been purportedly spotted in backgrounds.

  • 6. Visually check lighting, reflections and bright sun.Bright sunshine through a window

    Good lighting can help you get a great picture. Make sure you are well lit by switching on your room lights. Aim for the device's camera to be at the level of your eyes. This will make your look more natural to viewers. Watch out for bright sunlight that may suddenly appear. Have a quick check for mirrors and reflections the may show things you don't want or cause bright spots.

  • 7. Choose your clothing to suit.

    Clothes with stripes and busy patterns can cause a strobing effect on video. Watch out for strapless tops and dresses, if you get the wrong angle for a headshot you can appear naked. If you change your background image, test it with your clothing first you may find your body disappears and you are just a floating head.

  • 8. Set your ground rules.

    Let your audience know what your rules are; Hands up to ask a question, phones on silent, a break after 10 minutes or that its ok to get up and have a move around.

  • 9. Test your connection, 4g, 5g or wifi.

    Test your set up beforehand in a practice session and familiarise yourself with where the settings are on different devices. Check your power level, do you need to be plugged in? Where is your charger or extension socket if you needed it. Are you in the right spot? Lighting can be important but so can your position for wifi. Does the wifi drop when your microwave oven is on? Does it slow down if someone in your household fires up YouTube or streams a movie? Have you got a wired cable to your router you can keep on stand by?

  • 10. Have a backup plan.

    In case anyone freezes or your connection freezes. When children and adults are asked to do a speech, perform or explain something to a large group, nerves can take hold. This may mean someone in line to sing or say a part may freeze. Be ready to take over and always have a backup plan.
    Connections can also fail and your guest speaker, your quizmaster or next in line to show and tell may suddenly disappear. Your connection may drop too. Have a co-host with a separate contact method as a backup.

  • 11. Recap everything you have done.

    Go over the things you have done. Praise and acknowledge peoples hard work. If you have a handout or someone has taken notes tell the group how they can access it or when it will be sent to them. Let people know when the next session or class is.

  • 12. Thank you, goodbye and switch off.

    Joining in the conversations in an online group or call for the first time may be a big accomplishment. Thank those who have attended, people may want to spend a little time saying goodbye. Once all is done make sure you have closed the app or web service on your device.

In summary

With a little bit of preparation, your online sessions can run smoothly. Let us know by email [email protected] or by social media @wordpip if you found this useful. Drop us a line if you would like to know more about advanced features for Zoom like breakout rooms, whiteboards or polling. We can also look at screen sharing on Microsoft Teams or recording your lesson in Google Meet

Here are the 12 tips in a colourful pdf poster for you to print out. Just because.. who doesn't love colour?

combined thumbnails of the 2 pdfs for zoom tips

Here is a pre-flight checklist in a pdf format for you to download and print off before you next run a Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.

combined thumbnails of the 2 pdfs for zoom tips

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