January 23 Day 321: Zoom Refresher

It’s been 321 days since remote teaching in Washington State began. We learned enough to get by and for some people that was sufficient. But as we continue teaching from a distance, I would like to propose there are better ways. And rather than rejecting suggestions out of hand, I ask that you open your mind. Consider the proverb:

The wind does not break the tree that bends.

–Tanzanian Proverb

When the answer to a question asked does not perfectly match your expectations, it is not a reflection on you, a failure of communication, or a lack of knowledge. We have to adapt to the technology and learn to work with it. Technology does not adapt to us—at least not fast enough.

So what is the point about Zoom that I want to reinforce?

Recurring meetings are your friends. Creating a recurring meeting for synchronous (or asynchronous) class sessions connects your MeetingID and passcode to a “virtual meeting space.” Students rely on the same link to attend class all term long. But you already know that. What might not be so clear, is even though you set specific times for your recurring meeting, you can use those coordinates at ANYTIME until they expire. If you are fortunate enough to be teaching only one class at a time, you can set-up a recurring meeting for the class and use those same coordinates to meet with your students during office hours. You don’t need to create a new meeting —just be clear that office hours are held at the same location as class. It’s one less thing for you to set up and one less thing for them to remember. The Meeting ID and passcode are yours for 365 days. You don’t have to trust me, you can check the Zoom documentation directly.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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