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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Zoom’s new focus mode may preserve college students from distracting one another

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Zoom has announced a brand new Focus mode, which it says is supposed to maintain college students from getting distracted whereas in a digital classroom, whereas nonetheless permitting the instructor to regulate all people. When activated, Focus mode will make it so {that a} assembly’s members gained’t have the ability to see one another’s movies or display screen shares, whereas the host continues to be in a position to see everybody’s webcams. It supplies among the management found in Webinar mode, with out the complexity and lack of flexibility that comes with it — for example, a instructor may activate Focus mode whereas presenting, after which flip it off when it’s time for a category dialogue. And, whereas hosting a Webinar costs money, Focus mode seems to be obtainable to free accounts, based mostly on my testing.

This characteristic comes as the brand new faculty yr approaches in lots of districts, and as the specter of COVID-19 stays critical. It appears seemingly that digital lecture rooms are going to be sticking round for some, so it’s good that Zoom is including options to enhance tele-learning.

Left: Contributors will solely have the ability to see the host and spotlighted video. Proper: The host will nonetheless have the ability to monitor members.
Picture: Zoom

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Whereas focus mode will put the instructor’s video or display screen share front-and-center for college kids, it gained’t be the one factor on their screens. For one, members will nonetheless see their very own video, in addition to any movies or display screen shares which might be spotlighted by the host. They’ll additionally have the ability to see the names of the opposite members, in addition to any emoji reactions.

Total, the characteristic looks as if a good approach to preserve college students from distracting one another throughout class, and will even have its makes use of exterior of a studying atmosphere (say, throughout firm displays, if managers are anxious about staff not taking note of slides). Zoom’s Focus mode support article says that the characteristic might be enabled or locked on for accounts, teams, or particular person customers. After turning it on to your account the characteristic might be accessed by clicking the Extra button whereas in a gathering.

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