Zoom Room

Submitted by Edward Brunet Jr, of Stony Brook University

The team and I have discovered a two fold application for the Zoom Room program. When faculty or students do not feel safe in public among people during the pandemic, this tool can be deployed by Universities’ IT departments easily as a COVID response for teaching classes outside the walls of the classroom. This tool allows faculty to facilitate online instruction to large groups more effectively using multiple screens in a large format. This eliminates the distraction of faculty juggling online instruction from their homes on a small laptop and increases interaction with students like they would have had in person with their class.

In the classroom setup, they are standing, as normal, behind a lectern. They have 3 large screens to look at and to engage with their class. Far left their class roster, middle is the active speaker (minus the person lecturing), far right is the shared presentation.

The second application is a boardroom style application that we have stumbled upon and works well for larger style meetings. We have incorporated the three screens again, but the middle screen is the shared presentation, giving the illusion that it still feels like a conference room with the simplicity of Zoom Room organizing the members of the virtual meeting and the active speaker in separate virtual locations.

The most difficult part is separating the audio from those afar to those locally in the room which is needed to eliminate microphone feedback and to be able to hear the local “User PC”. Personally, I like how the program separates those attending the meeting virtual. I also like the idea that the Zoom Room PC can not be utilized by the user except for using Zoom Rooms. All functions of the Zoom Room are accessible via the touch panel. In both scenarios we have incorporated an in room computer for the user to access and present their materials. However, if someone wants to present via a mobile device that is possible too with ease. Some say there are a lot of up front costs, I would be happy to discuss further if anyone would like to inquire.

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