zoom useful features

Are you planning on hosting an online meeting or tutoring session?  Maybe you want to host a class on how to use Ripper casino bonuses. Whatever purposes, read on, to learn some interesting Zoom features.

Which video conferencing is the most popular?  Is Zoom worth learning?

Here are the stats by the popularity in 2021:

• Zoom – 47.8% (100 participants, up to 40 minutes)
• Google Meet – 21.8% (100 participants, up to 60 minutes)
• Microsoft Teams – 14.5%
• Skype – 6.6%
• Slack – 3.6%
• Houseparty – 1.6%
• Google Hangouts – 1.3% (now Google Meet)
• GoToMeeting – 1.1%

What are the recent changes in Zoom in 2022 (free plan)?

On July 15, 2022, Zoom is changing the meeting duration limit for 1:1 meetings hosted by Basic (free) users on paid accounts to 40 minutes. This change creates a uniform 40-minute meeting duration limit for all meetings hosted by Basic (free) users on all account types.

Before this, Zoom allowed 1:1 meetings to be up to 30 hours.  I think that was set up due to COVID, and restrictions with people not being able to visit senior relatives.  But with the world on the tail-end of COVID (still around but in a milder form), needing Zoom to keep tabs on seniors is not as critical.

What this means is that Google Meet allow free session of up to 60 minutes, while Zoom only allows free sessions of up to 40 minutes.  Most people who do “courses” online, do them for either:

• 25 minutes (5-minute break for host until the next class)
• 50 minutes (10-minute break for the host until the next class)

That means that all of those tutoring sites that were previously using Zoom Basic accounts for tutoring for both their 30-minute and 60-minute accounts (for free) will now be required to pay for Zoom for their 60-minute private tutoring sessions.  That means that all of those “classes” will now go up in price to compensate for this increase in cost.

With Google Meet being 60 minutes for free, and on top of that, being integrated with Google Classroom (which now anybody can use), for tutoring or sessions where you have the video call and documents and other stuff that you want to go with the meeting, the Google option looks more appealing.

There is also the issue that Zoom is developed in China and Google Meets is not developed in China.  Google products are actually banned in mainland China.  If your video conference is a “nothing meeting” (working with a tutor to learn basic math), this issue is a non-issue.  But if it is something more serious, for example, talking with co-workers about a new product you are developing, then it becomes more of an issue.

My prediction is that within a year, Google Meet’s market share will end up replacing Zoom’s market share.  Zoom will not go away, but its market share will definitely drop.

Should I use Microsoft Teams?

If your company or school is a Microsoft shop, then yes, using Microsoft Teams is definitely the option. I tried to use Zoom Whiteboard where I created a huge whiteboard with a lot of images to prepare for a meeting. I then decided I wanted them in Microsoft One Note.

There was no option to copy and past from Zoom to OneNote. I do not know if the problem was on Microsoft’s site or Zoom’s side.  I just know that copying and pasting between Zoom Whiteboard and Microsoft Products does not work.

Microsoft Teams is designed to work with Microsoft Products, so if you are a Microsoft Shop (using Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Office), then your life will have a lot fewer frustrations using Microsoft Teams.

The one negative that I see with Microsoft Teams, is that if you want to use the “break-out rooms”, you have to buy the Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Microsoft 365, Business Standard.  I did not see any option to use Breakout rooms with the personal or family version of Microsoft 365.

So if you are a single person who does tutoring sessions over Zoom with small groups, the ability to break up the group into even smaller groups does not exist in the free version.

• Pros of free version  – 60-minute limit instead of 40-minute limit with Zoom.
• Con of free version – No breakout rooms at this level.

Should I use Google Meet?

With Google Meet Basic, you get the following features:

• 1:1 meeting, up to 24 hours (more than Teams and Zoom)
• Group meeting 3+ people, 1 hour (Same as Teams, more than Zoom)
• 100 participants (same as with Teams and Zoom)
• Hand Raise (free with Zoom, costs $7.99/month with Meet)
• Breakout Rooms (free with Zoom, costs $7.99/month with Meet)
• Attendance Reports / Immersive View (Immersive View, free with Zoom, cost $7.99/month with Meet)

At first, I was thinking, “Google Meet” will be better, because it can easily be integrated with Google Docs and Google Classroom, but all of the “classroom” type features (Hand Raise, Breakout Rooms, and Attendance Report / Immersive View) are only available with the paid $7.99 subscription.

For small groups, Google Meet vs. Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams

Once you start to “pay” for one of these three products, the features in each of them equal out.

Looking at the Basic Version, I was looking at these products from the perspective of hosting a meeting as a small group tutor (8 or fewer participants).

In that environment, I can’t see not using the “raise hand (non-verbal feedback)” feature.  You click on the “raise hand button”, and a small hand displays on your video and your video is placed to the “front” (upper left area) automatically, so the host can see that you want to speak.

The breakout rooms are also a feature that I cannot see not using.  You have a 1-hour class.  You “lead” for 15 minutes.  Then you create breakout rooms for groups of 2 or 3 students each, for the student to practice what they learned.  This can either be talking or just doing practice problems together, with the teacher available to ask questions.

So although having 60 minutes (Teams and Meets) seems like a better deal on the surface, losing “raising hands” and “break out rooms” makes it not worth it for me.

How do Immersive Views work in Zoom?

When a host setups a regular zoom meeting, each of the participants is in a square.  Once you get past 6 to 9 people (12 at most), the zoom meeting just becomes a very long list that is almost impossible to keep track of.

The point of immersive view is to help “organize” the participants.  First, the background is “pretty” with squares pre-setup for a certain number of participants.

By default there are the following immersive screens:

• Art Gallery (5 participants)
• Auditorium (25 participants, great for a standard class)
• Boardroom (6 participants, great for panel discussions)
• Fireside chat (2 participants)
• Cafe (2 participants)
• Classroom (25 participants, host is in the front and center slot)
• Kitchen (2 participants)
• Learning Pods (24 participants)
• Portraits, Halloween (8 participants)
• Ski Lift (4 participants)

You can also add a custom Immersion Background.  Any background image can be used for an immersive background, but for a custom immersive background, you will have to add and size the participants.

Regardless of if you use the standard gallery, a standard immersive view background, or a custom immersive view background, you have the option to “save the gallery”.  Essentially, you can save the seating chart.  Just as with a regular classroom, you will easily be able to see who is there, who is missing, and where everybody is without having to search for people.  You just have to activate this feature in the Settings -> In Meeting (advanced).

• Only one custom gallery view order can be saved for each meeting series.
• Arrangements can be updated and saved again, which replaces the existing arrangement with the new.

You will just need to remember to load the view order when you restart the video series.

Check out some interesting Zoom immersion view backgrounds on NerdChalk.  This site has some amazing immersion backgrounds:

• Auditorium (100 participants)
• Large Classroom (32 participants)
• Lounge with poster (6  participants, with 1 large one for the host)
• Medium Classroom (14 participants)
• Presentation (7 participants, spot for host)
• Small Classroom (10 participants)
• Theater (100 participants, 10 special spots in the front)
• University (50 participants)

My son’s favorite one is still the “Halloween” one that comes with zoom, which if you are doing informal tutoring and want to add some “comic” to the session, that is the one that I would choose.

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