Washington (USA): The popular American video teleconferencing software Zoom has introduced a new feature named 'Focus Mode' in order to help teachers reduce distractions for students.
COVID-19 pandemic has indeed narrowed down the communication options and one of such is the teacher-student communication mode. There wouldn't be any student or teacher who has not used the Zoom app for the new trend of 'online classes' or 'online meeting'; and also there wouldn't be any of them who has not faced any distraction or technical issue during the same.
Hence, to make things easier for teachers, Zoom has announced a new feature called 'Focus Mode'. According to Mashable, Zoom said that the feature is meant to keep students from getting distracted while they are in a virtual classroom.
"Focus Mode allows educators to see their students' videos, and students to see their teachers without seeing other class participants. With this feature, teachers can supervise their class, but students won't be distracted by their peers' video feeds or feel self-conscious about turning on their own camera," read a blog post.
Speaking about how it will be used, when a user will turn on the 'Focus Mode' option, the participants attending the meeting will not be able to see other participant's videos or screen shares and access to those screen shares will be limited to the user alone.
The feature offers similar controls to that of the 'Webinar Mode'. However, Webinar mode does not come with the free account and provides less flexibility when compared to normal Zoom meetings.
According to Mashable, Zoom will allow hosts to turn focus mode on and off "at will", which can help them to use the feature for specific use cases.
'Focus mode' will reportedly be "additionally" available to free accounts, which can further help more teachers to show students during "a less destructive environment", as per Mashable.
When 'Focus Mode' will be on, participants will also be able to see their own video, names of other participants, and also emoticon reactions by others. The feature can be enabled for user accounts, groups, and individual users.
To access 'Focus Mode', users can click on the "More" button that appears on the bottom panel of the screen while during the call.