Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Another Way To Look At Zoom

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2020

There are so many settings on Zoom I honestly cannot remember them all. But I love settings . . . or more accurately I love to go through and make sure I have things set the way I want them and not the way the makers of the device, platform, or application wants them. So when I get a new phone I look through everything. The issue arises when there is an update because most of the time that entails new settings. And in some cases the update changes the settings you have so time consumingly set. Most often than not there are device settings AND there are application settings so there are a lot of settings . . . but I totally digress. Sometimes when I first use a device or application I don’t know what the setting is. So I usually leave it as is. A couple of weeks ago, after I had taught a class I was wishing there was a setting that would allow me to only see the people who had their cameras on. As I was falling asleep that night I had an inkling that there might just be such a setting. And there is!

When I teach a live class I want to see the people I am teaching. Teaching live and recording a video are two different things. Both have their purposes and both are great teaching tools, but when I teach live, I want to see my students. I like to be able to teach off of what I am seeing. In yoga for instance there can be many things that one may need to be reminded of while resting in a pose, but I don’t like to go through the entire list, I would rather look at the students and guide them with the cues they need. In a live Nia class I can see if we need to/want to stay in a move longer and not move on or if they need more or different verbal cues to help them get the move. I like to interact with my students. I do miss not being able to hear them, but with so many different venues (living rooms, garages, decks, patios, bedrooms, offices, you get the picture) they get muted so everyone can hear instruction and music. Now with that being said, I know there are just as many reasons why the camera is not turned on as there are people. So I completely understand when people don’t turn on the camera.

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BUT . . . . . .when there are 25 people in a class and 5 have on their cameras and 20 don’t, it makes it difficult to see the 5. The rectangles are so small. And when teaching a class I have the camera and monitor far away so it is difficult to see. After class two weeks ago, I was wondering if there was a way to “turn off” the people that are just black rectangles. And there is! Yay. If you click the “Hide non-video participants” box the only people you will see are the ones that are transmitting a live video that way you can concentrate on the students you can see AND I could actually see them because their rectangles are large enough. YAY.  This setting is found in settings, under video and you can get to it by clicking on the ^ next to “Start video” in the left-hand corner of your user screen.

At first when I did this I was worried that if someone who is showing up in the 25th spot turned on the camera I wouldn’t be able to see them because the transmitting ones “pushed” that spot off my screen (silly me) but when I thought about it I realized it doesn’t work that way. If someone in the 25th spot turns on their camera they become one of the video participants (and so there rectangle moves from the 25th spot) and I can see them.

So . . . just another setting on Zoom that might be helpful. I realize that we are all using Zoom differently so we are all needing different settings, but the more we share the more we can really deliver quality online classes to our students.

Do you keep ALL your students on your screen? Do you like to see your students?

2 Responses to “Another Way To Look At Zoom”

  1. I was wondering how to get to the settings screen, so “clicking on the “^” was helpful. BTW, regarding virtual background, I’ve tried about everything on Google but I’m beginning to wonder if you need an i5 processor to make it work right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The “^” are not very visible, I don’t think. Glad I was able to point it out to you. The two laptops that I use for Zoom say something . . . I don’t know what . . . they both might actually say different things, but basically they both boil down to the fact that the computers can’t support the virtual background. 🙂 When sitting in a meeting/party the virtual background is ok, I still get wigged out when I see someone’s head disappear, but when doing exercise classes it is very disturbing . . . again, that is because I get wigged out when I see people’s body part disappear. 🙂 I will try to remember what the “error” message is on the computers the next time I am on them. I don’t use MY computer for Zoom. I have separate computers for that.

      Liked by 1 person

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