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It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped the world upside down, and the way we do things has been changing because of it. When you’re being advised to stay at home and social distance, working or learning in a crowded area, such as a school or office setting, just isn’t going to happen. So, workers and students have been exposed to an alternative, safer way of getting things done while in their own homes by online conferencing – and what better way to conduct an online meeting than with Zoom video conferencing?
But what is Zoom? Zoom is a video and audio conferencing platform that users can connect to on their smartphones, computers, and other devices for various uses. Zoom video conferencing has been around since 2013 but has since surged in popularity due to the recent circumstances. Students, remote workers, and others favor Zoom’s easy to use features and cross-platform availability, not even needing an account to jump straight into a meeting. Why, though, is Zoom receiving all this hype compared to other hangout apps? Keep reading to find out just how Zoom video conferencing is changing the game.
1. Remote Work
While those who do remote working for a living are used to Zoom video conferencing, there are many workers who are utilizing digital platforms for the first time. The mental aspect of working from home for the first time can be exhausting since you’re thrown out of your element and put into a different setting. However, seeing your boss and co-workers face to face on a Zoom conference call can replicate the experience of a physical meeting, therefore giving you a sense of familiarity.
Zoom isn’t only used for meetings and can be used for training purposes and other usual work activities as well. Every boss has a different style of managing and can choose how much time their team spends on Zoom, what tasks to do, etc. Some may want to only use it for conferencing, but there are many other ways to make the remote work experience work for the crew. Here are some examples.
- Hosting virtual presentations to keep the team on track and share new ideas.
- Setting virtual office hours to improve time management.
- Holding events or lunches on a Zoom conference call.
- Having themed days to make working fun!
These kinds of activities can build a truly enjoyable work from home experience and spice things up, improving employee motivation– and because of these versatile functions, companies are starting to realize how powerful remote work can truly be.
Although schools from elementary to university are closed down, education must go on! The school environment has been turned completely virtual with the help of services such as Zoom. With the help of video conferencing, students can engage in various learning activities to help them end off their school year. Just like with remote work, teachers can choose the way they manage their class virtually in various ways. Here are some tips.
- Setting class hours to improve time management.
- Hosting events for the class to boost student morale.
- Lectures can easily be given by teachers, involving students in group participation when needed via microphone and camera.
- Students can interact with each other inside and outside of class meetings as well for collaborative activities.
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As you may have seen, the University of Southern California will remain online and remote for the remainder of the academic semester. While the campus itself may look a little less lively, we will continue to share here—USC isn't just a place but a community. Despite physical distance, the Trojan Family will #FightOn ✌️⠀ ⠀ For those who stayed in university housing, please be assured, we will continue to provide housing, food, and support as we work with each of you to find a solution that fits your circumstances. ⠀ ⠀ We don't have answers about Commencement yet, but we will be sure to share updates with you as quickly as we can!⠀ ⠀ Be kind to each other during these unprecedented times. Your hub for news, updates and FAQs is usc.edu/coronavirus
A big part of virtual education using Zoom conferencing is the screen sharing feature. It allows teachers to still show the class materials just like a regular smart board could in person. Holding a presentation is super easy with screen sharing, as well as engaging students in fun educational games such as “Kahoot!” or “Jeopardy”.
3. Virtual Events
As any crowded place is bad news for the pandemic, events are postponed as well as work and school. Event organizers who don’t want to waste the effort that they put into planning their events are now using Zoom. Events on Zoom can be held as meetings or webinars, depending on whether the organizer wants audience interaction or not.
There are various types of virtual events, ranging from professional to fun. Some good examples of events that can be made virtual are career fairs, watch parties, and sales kickoffs. Podcasts and talk shows that are usually recorded in separate areas are now being broadcasted from home using Zoom as well.
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) March 28, 2020
A communication feature that recently became popular due to the coronavirus outbreak is Telehealth. Telehealth isn’t anything new, as healthcare professionals have been using it since the 1950’s, but it has advanced along with technology, and now can be used on platforms such as Zoom. Epic, an electronic health record company, has recently teamed up with Zoom to help make Telehealth visits easier and notify both the doctor and patient on their actions. Using Zoom, doctors are able to conduct consultations, diagnose patients, and treat them, all virtually. It also makes supply checks and training medical professionals safer and easier during these times, limiting the spread of threatening illnesses.
Why Zoom Stands Out
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Zoom’s stats seem to be so high for a couple of reasons. It’s a quick and easy to use service, plus it has a freemium model. This allows you to access Zoom without having to go with a premium mode, unless if you want to. Large businesses may want to sign up for it, but the average person, especially workers and students, don’t have to. The platform is open and usable for anyone, even without an account. It’s versatile because of all the ways you can use it – for education, for work, or even just for fun (Zoom backgrounds, anyone?). To summarize, Zoom has been making the recent self-quarantine both functional and fun for its users, which skyrocketed its usage statistics.