Zoom-ing in to the Teacher's Screen
The PRCVI outreach team has had a few requests this school year for assistance with students that are having a difficult time seeing what teachers are presenting to the class when projecting their screens from computers or tablets. Finding an in-class solution resulted in an online solution.
We were invited to help find a screen casting solution whereby students could have a copy of their teacher’s screens directly on their own devices. After looking at different local network options or using cables and adapters, the most workable solution was using a Zoom online meeting.
The teacher signed up for a Zoom account and started a meeting. This generated a 9-digit or 10-digit meeting number, which was given to the student. Once the teacher started the meeting, the teacher had the option to share their screen, use audio only, or share their camera feed. For the purposes of a lesson in progress within the classroom, the teacher needed only to share their screen.
The student downloaded a copy of the Zoom meeting app or navigated to the Zoom website to join the meeting their teacher started. Once the student joins the meeting, they can see their teacher’s screen. For the student, depending on the device and operating system, the student can use accessibility features to zoom into the screen or use screen enhancement software to better access the content. For example, on an iPad with the Zoom feature enabled, the student can double-tap with three fingers to zoom or drag three fingers to move around the screen.
The free version of Zoom allows up to 3 computers in a meeting and times out at 40- minutes. Teachers need to end the meeting and start their meeting again to use the online meeting for more than 40 minutes. For more screens and unlimited meeting times, the cost of using Zoom is $20/month.
NOTE: At the time of publication on April 2, 2020 the use of Zoom is currently being offered free of charge. The BC government has also purchased licensing for all educators to use Zoom and has arranged for the licensing to include encryption for improved security and the government licensing is compliant with FOIPPA. Before using Zoom, please be aware of your district’s policy for using this online platform.