US-based communications technology company Zoom has unveiled a new Focus Mode that, according to the company, is designed to keep pupils focused in a virtual classroom while still allowing the teacher to keep an eye on everyone.
While allowing the teacher to maintain a watchful eye on everyone When Focus mode is on, participants in a meeting won’t be able to see each other’s videos or screen sharing, but the host will still be able to see everyone’s webcams.
It gives you some of the control of Webinar mode without the complication and lack of flexibility, for example, a teacher may use Focus mode when presenting and then switch it off when it’s time for a class discussion.
While Focus Mode is turned on, students in a Zoom virtual class won’t be able to see their classmates. Students will still be able to watch their own videos as well as the names and emoji reactions of other students in the same class, so this does not mean that they will only be able to see their teachers. When they are not muted, they will be able to hear other students.
Overall, the function appears to be a good way to deter students from talking during class, and it could even be useful outside of the classroom, such as during company presentations if managers are concerned about employees not paying attention to slides.
The Focus mode function can be enabled or locked on for accounts, groups, or individual users, according to Zoom’s support site. After you’ve enabled it for your account, you can use it by pressing the More button while in a conference.