Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
Jane Ross, head of public sector at the Zoom video platform, discusses how it’s helping schools both in meetings and in the classroom…
Could you explain what the Zoom video platform is, and how it helps teachers?
Zoom is a unified video-first communications platform that provides remote communications services using cloud computing. It offers software for video, voice, chat, and content sharing. Zoom was named a Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions.
The Zoom solutions also have the benefit of being available for procurement through the UK government’s official G-Cloud Digital Marketplace framework. This accreditation provides full access to Zoom’s range of solutions, including its Zoom Rooms, which implements its high-quality video, audio and content sharing in rooms of all sizes.
Zoom services are available in cloud or hybrid deployments, and the solutions are available on the G-Cloud version 10 of the framework, in the Cloud Software category. Zoom also benefits the ease of sharing critical information, with the one-click activation, the school board can hold meetings, students can join classes, teachers can bring in remote guest lecturers or host office hours online, and so forth.
We are living in a digital age, and more and more schools are looking for ways to adapt to this transformation while being conscious of their budget restrictions. Zoom can bolster any eLearning initiatives, by providing a secure platform for online tutoring, online parent teacher meetings, teacher conferences etc. The possibilities for Zoom to positively impact and transform the way a school works is only limited to what they can imagine doing with it!
What is the effect on pupils' attainment when Zoom is used?
Zoom can be the next step in introducing synchronous activities into school’s existing or future eLearning programs, it can work to build stronger relationships and better learning experiences for students and teachers alike.
For example, webinars and online teaching sessions hosted via Zoom can bolster the engagement of pupils whether at home or at school, providing alternative outlets for those students who are hungry to learn. This will not only build their academic confidence, but also give them a chance to hone this confidence in situations outside the comfort of a classroom, by giving them vital experience of a technology and a way of communicating that they will most likely be using when they come to enter the working world.
How does Zoom save the school money?
With unique but straightforward pricing structure, Zoom offers affordable and attainable solutions for organisations with even the strictest of budgets. That is why over 17,000 educational institutions are using Zoom for virtual and hybrid classrooms, office hours, administrative meetings, and more.
Does Zoom help students prepare for higher education and the world of work?
Zoom can play a huge part in helping students understand the tools available to keep up with the modern world of work, and the often-remote experience of attending a University far away from home. Zoom can teach students how to work effectively from anywhere, a skill that will be vital in the world of work as more and more companies offer a flexible working structure.
Not to mention, that most companies, even if based in the office 5 days a week, will need to use some form of conferencing software to communicate with other parts of their business, customers, or clients. Using Zoom at school gives students this exposure to collaborative working from a remote environment.
What do you see in the future of video technology: what will students be using next year, for example?
Today’s students are mobile first. We are talking all the time about the benefits and pitfalls of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and so we are now seeing schools and universities addressing the need to integrate this into a learning environment in a productive way. Teachers are now realising they need to meet the students where they are, with synchronous engagement that goes straight to their mobile devices with real-time video, audio, and content sharing.
The future of video technology is bright and totally mobile, and is sure to become something that students, teachers and school boards see as a seamless and entirely essential part of learning in the modern era.
Could you give an example where the Zoom video platform has really made an impact on a school?
The University of San Francisco was looking for a solution to support its growing online programs, and it decided that the answer was Zoom. The impact that Zoom has had at the organisation is real and palpable; not only does Zoom create an easy and accessible way for teachers and students to connect no matter where they are, it has also expanded the University’s ability to share knowledge globally.
This is demonstrated by its collaboration with remote hospitals in Vietnam, with whom the University’s faculty and researchers share healthcare knowledge and best practice to ensure patients are receiving the right treatment - all through Zoom. The University has credited the ease of clicking to connect, and simplicity of deployment and usability as some of the reasons why Zoom has made such an impact.
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