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3 Underused Features for Zoom Tutoring

These last two weeks, we’ve had the chance to speak with many learning centers about their plans to move tutoring online. For those of you utilizing Zoom, here are three built-in features that may be unfamiliar and which can be very effective for tutoring.


Use Zoom’s Whiteboard (with your smartphone!)


Zoom has a great built-in digital whiteboard (you need to be on the Zoom desktop or mobile app to use this, not the browser). When in a meeting, click/tap the green “Share” button and then tap “Whiteboard".


Smartphones make this much more effective, and critically, you can join a meeting room on both your desktop AND your phone simultaneously, and then use your smartphone touch screen for drawing equations, symbols, etc. Simply open the meeting invite link on both devices and tap “Share” -> “Share whiteboard” from mobile. Consider purchasing touchscreen stylus pens on Amazon for your tutors if you have the budget.


Control One Another’s Computer


Did you know you can take over another person’s computer through Zoom? This is especially useful for subjects like computer science, but comes in handy in other cases too. To control someone’s screen, have them click “Share” then “Share Screen”. Once you can see their screen, click the “View Options” dropdown at the top of the screen and then click “Request Remote Control”.


Use Breakout Rooms for Drop-in Tutoring


Drop-in can be a challenge for digital tutoring. While you can of course have different Zoom meeting links for different tutors, another alternative is using breakout rooms and renaming them for each tutor. Ensure that you make it clear which tutor can teach which class, and now students can join your single tutoring center link and see all of their peers also receiving tutoring, and join the relevant breakout room. Once done, they can switch to another if they’d like. We believe this will encourage more usage by students than separate links for each tutor, as those will feel more isolating and lack the comfort of seeing many peers doing the same thing (using your tutoring).


I like this youtube video as a quick introduction to the breakout room feature (note, it must be turned on in Admin settings on Zoom before it can be used).


Good luck and keep up the good work!

Ben Holmquist

March 19, 2020

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