Tech Tip Tuesday: Zoom Closed Captions

Another useful tool within Zoom that goes unnoticed is closed captions. This might be useful for ELL students or just to gather a transcript of the verbal discussion from your Zoom meeting.

To use closed captions, first you need to enable this feature in your Zoom settings. Go to Zoom.us –> log into your account –> then access the settings from the left navigation. Scroll down to “In-meeting Advanced”. Find “closed captions” and toggle it on.

Then, start a Zoom meeting and you will see a CC button in your Zoom dock/menu. Click on that to start closed captions –> then click “enable auto-transcription”. From there, as you speak, you will see the captions appear on your screen. This is pretty fluent and for the most part, does a nice job transcribing your voice. From here, you can also click the arrow next to the CC Button to open a sub menu. If you choose “view full transcript” a side window will open with everything that has been transcribed. Once you save the transcript, a copy of it will be saved to your desktop/computer.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Let Students Choose Their Own Zoom Breakout Rooms

With Breakout rooms in Zoom, you were able to either A) pre-assign breakout rooms when scheduling a meeting, or B) manually assign students to breakout rooms during a meeting on the fly. However, now there is a NEW option. You can also let students choose which room they want to join on their own!

To do this, you need to first make sure you and your students are currently on the latest version of Zoom. Joel will be pushing this out to everyone (students and staff) but if you would like to verify, you can check your version by opening Zoom, selecting Zoom.us from the top Mac navigation bar on your screen –> and selecting About Zoom. The most current version is 5.3.2. Once you have that, you can create a meeting as normal. Then simply select Breakout from bottom Zoom navigation bar and you will see an option that now says “let participants choose room”. (see below)…

Just generate as many rooms as you’d like, then click on that setting and you are set to go! Great for jigsaw activities, or letting students pick their own group mates.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Force Google Jamboard Copies

If you took any of my summer workshops this year, I mentioned a few times a little trick about how to force copies of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings to people so that they no longer have to go to FILE –> MAKE A COPY.

Google Classroom does this automatically, giving people individual copies of these documents and Schoology has the new(ish) Google Drive Assignmens feature (when it works). To do this simply open your Google document (again this can also be a sheet, slide, or drawing. Look at the URL and locate the last backslash. After that is usually the word edit followed by some letters and numbers. Delete the word EDIT along with everything after it and then type in the word COPY. Highlight this NEW URL and post it as an assignment or share it with your students/colleagues so that it forces them to make a copy of that particular document and get an individual copy they can work on.

This same trick applies to Google Jamboard but looks slightly different. When you open your Google Jamboard file and look at the URL, locate the word VIEWER. Replace that with the word copy. Then simply copy this NEW URL and post it as an assignment or share it with your students/coleagues so that it forces them to make a copy of it and have their individual Jamboard file!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Recording Breakout Room Discussions

Zoom can be a great place to facilitate discussions, jigsaw activities, Socratic seminars, and group work with their breakout rooms. However, managing them and knowing that students followed the rules and acted appropriately is difficult to do. Holding them accountable with recordings and using a grade, might do the trick!

As the host, you can grant a participant in a breakout room permission to record the activity in that specific breakout room. Follow along below on how to set up a participant to record a breakout room when you are not in that room. NOTE: You must follow this procedure for each meeting in which you want to record breakout rooms.

I also recommend setting ground rules for students ahead of recording. Make note that everything that happens in the “virtual” classroom follow all school rules. Also, prepare the students who are initiating the recording in the breakout room so they know what to do; how to press record and what to do after (I recommend having them upload the video to Google Drive and then sharing it with you).

  1. Initiate a meeting with your students via Zoom.
  2. When all students have joined, click the Breakout Rooms button on the Zoom taskbar along the bottom of the screen.
    The Breakout Rooms button in the Zoom interface.
  3. A prompt displays asking how you want to split up your participants (automatically or manually), and how many breakout rooms you would like.
    1. Adjust the numbers and students.
    2. Click the Create Rooms button in the prompt. Students will receive a popup asking them to join the breakout room. When they accept, they will be taken to their assigned breakout rooms.
      As the instructor, you will remain in the main meeting room while the rest of the participants are in their breakout rooms.
  4. The Breakout Rooms – In Progress window opens, displaying the open breakout rooms and giving you the option to join. Click Join, next to your first breakout room in the prompt, and then click Yes.
    The Breakout Rooms - In Progress window.
  5. On the taskbar at the bottom of the window, click the Manage Participants button.  
    The Manage Participants button in the Zoom interface.
  6. A side panel opens on the right-hand side of the window with your Breakout Room Participants. Hover your cursor over the name of the participant you want to allow to record the breakout room and click More to open a drop-down menu.
  7. In the drop-down menu, click Allow Record. That participant can now record the breakout room. NOTE: The participant to whom you allowed the permission must click the Record button at the bottom of the window to initiate the recording.
    Allow Record in the Breakout Room Participants panel.
  8. Click Leave Breakout Room in the bottom right-hand corner of the window to return to the main meeting room.
  9. Follow these for other room!