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Tech Thursday: Name Your Own Breakout Rooms
Zoom has a great solution - allowing participants to choose their own rooms - that is made even more useful when you rename the rooms to match the topic or room expectations.
Figuring out how to use breakout rooms productively is a challenging piece of teaching online. I struggle with the creepy “popping in” that is required if you want to be able to see how students are doing, and the management of putting people where they should be breaks up the flow of working as a whole class and then as small groups. Once students are in their rooms, it seems there are always issues with students not participating with the rest of the group, or just leaving entirely. That’s frustrating as an instructor, and it’s frustrating for other students who really want to have that space for peer engagement.
Zoom has a great solution - allowing participants to choose their own rooms - that is made even more useful when you rename the rooms to match the topic or room expectations. Now you can set up rooms and label them to guide participation. For example, the Quiet Independent Work room is for students who need to take a break away from their computer or need to catch up on something unrelated to the group work. Students who don’t want to turn their cameras on or talk much can join Video off but happy to chat and students who want to really engage with their group can join Video on - working together.
I would love to see workshops use this strategy as well - let’s be honest, sometimes we attend a webinar to fully participate, and sometimes we just need to listen in. I would love to have the option to join a Quiet Thinking Time room sometimes.
Hoping this leads to more productive breakout times!
Past Tech Thursdays
Student engagement: Climer cards / Digital exit tickets / Interactive quizzing / Online question management for classes & presentations / Wheel of Names (random name generator) / Providing audio feedback
Google: “Publish” from Google Drive / Google Classroom updates / “Make a copy” function in Google Drive / Working in shared Google docs / Collaborating in Google Slides / Turn Google Forms into a formatted document
Canvas: Canvas “What-if” grades
Productivity: Study Skills Videos / Keeping Notes on Students / Keyboard shortcuts / Text Expanders / Mailbird email program / Voice-to-text options / Custom URLs & QR codes / DropBox Paper for collaboration