This is the HigherEdTech podcast, Season Five, Episode Four: Zoom Add-ons
Tim Van Norman 0:18
Welcome to today’s HigherEdTech Podcast. I’m Tim VanNorman, the Instructional Technologist at Irvine Valley College.
Brent Warner 0:24
And I’m Brent Warner professor of ESL here at IVC. We both enjoy integrating technology into the classroom, which is what this show is all about.
Tim Van Norman 0:33
Welcome. We’re glad you’re here with us. So I don’t know about you, Brent, but Well, actually, I assume I’m right. But I’ve been buried with AI and other tech.
Brent Warner 0:44
Yes. There’s so much stuff going on. We’re, I think probably our next episode, we’ll do like some AI updates and all that stuff. A little bit pre show I showed you something that I was playing with. It’s kind of mind blowing. So anyways, we’ll hold off on that conversation a bit. But yes, there’s tons and tons of stuff coming out with the AI thing. And it’s definitely going to have made more and more impacts. I think people are not still not totally prepared for what’s coming up. In the next even in the next five months. Yeah, yeah. But everything going well. Otherwise, we’re now in into the semester a bit. So
Tim Van Norman 1:27
week five, I believe six. And we’re Yeah, it’s it’s going well, things are, are a lot more people on campus. I don’t know about other campuses. But here that’s been the comment is Wow, this looks like pre pandemic. Oh, come seeing students on campus, especially certain days of the week. And mornings versus evenings is different. But But that’s, that’s normal. And that’s good. It’s been good to see a lot of lot more students on campus.
Brent Warner 1:57
Awesome. Awesome. excited to hear. So I’m looking forward to coming back. And I know there have been some changes that were happening over the summer, too, that I want to see. So. So cool. Well, today, we’re going to be talking about zoom add ons. So we talked about this a couple of years ago, it was pretty much two years ago, middle middle of season three or season three, Episode Seven, if I’m looking here at my notes. And so that was kind of when zoom add ons first came out. And I think when we talked about it back then Tim, we were a little bit, you know, it just wasn’t very robust at the time, you know, there was like, Hey, we there’s some interesting things going on here. You can kind of connect it to zoom in a certain way. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t very thorough. Now the marketplace is pretty big. And there’s definitely a lot going on. So let’s jump over into the segment and share a little bit about what’s happening here.
Tim Van Norman 2:52
Absolutely. So according to today’s number, okay, in zoom, they have over 2560 Zoom apps that are available. That’s a lot.
Brent Warner 3:14
And we expect you to use every single one of them. That’s
Tim Van Norman 3:19
yeah, we don’t use I don’t use most of them. Many at all. I mean, most is even a I think I’ve used less than 10. Myself, but it’s one of those worlds where people have realized that Zoom is a great base. But there’s other things that we can do. And so it started about two years ago. And depending on which level of zoom you’ve got, you may have the ability to add it in or it may be like an administrator on your Zoom account. Right. So for us at IVC is as an administrator on the Zoom account. The administrators have access to enable, authorize the different apps that are on Zoom. Same thing happens with Google, very similar type of concept. Google’s got a whole lot more than 2500 apps though. Right? So.
Brent Warner 4:19
So Tim, before we even really get started with this, I can hear people saying, hey, I want this thing turned on in my Zoom. How do I get it and why are you telling me no.
Tim Van Norman 4:35
As much as we would love to turn on everything. We can’t. There’s all kinds of different things that come up. One, some of the some of these costs money. And sometimes the money is built to the Zoom account. Sometimes the money is off of a credit card of somebody or something like that. So we always have to pay attention to who’s going to fund who’s pay Paying for the app development. Because very few people do it all for free and keep it all for free ever, for all for ever. So we do have to pay attention to that. One of the other things we look at is permissions. Do they? Do they try to do what they’re supposed to do? Or do they try to do something else? So it’s one thing to keep track of, oh, this person’s name in this meeting with you, and something else to now track that person across the 12 different other people that they’re meeting with? Right, right. And we’d really like to not include some of those things. And but that might be what the what the app is supposed to do. So that’s goes back to the administrator, actually spending extra time understanding, rather than just saying no, or just saying yes, so
Brent Warner 5:53
right. So so I think what we want to be kind of clear here about and this is something that’s been frustrating to me sometimes because I want to experiment with things. But here’s what happens is, we kind of say, hey, I want to test out this thing. And you go, Well, I get it, but like it might not be FERPA compliant, for example. And when it’s something, for example, an app built into zoom, we know that Zoom is fine. But then once it starts, it starts pulling in information, right? Like, I can see your name on here, right now. Maybe it can see my background and get a sense of where I am, I might give information about where I live, or I might even just say, Hey, this is my grade, you know, and then that information gets pulled out of that and then put into some process somewhere and then you know, you know, spun around for whatever reasons is that the app needs to use it for, but it might even though the surface level might be FERPA Okay, compliant, so the zoom or whatever is fine. The next parts to it are not right, the Lincoln is kind of sneaking through the backdoor, so to speak. And so. So I think this is something that is not not necessarily obvious to people on the on first glance,
Tim Van Norman 7:05
right. And you can look it up too. But one of the things that becomes more difficult is, this is zooms world. In this case, Google, for instance, yes, they have their Google apps in the Google Store and stuff. But you can find the information in other places, a lot of these, the only place you really find them is in zoom. And so zoom has a very specific format, that it lays out everything. And that’s not necessarily the easy way for for us as administrators to look at it and to understand that also said you’d love to try it out. And somebody else would like to try out a competitor to a package and somebody else would like to try out another competitor. When we turn it on, typically, we got to turn it on for everybody. So now I turn it on, somebody goes Oh, and they start using it. And you say, You know what, I decided against it, I shut it off. And I’ve got somebody else mad at me, because hey, wait a minute, you had this on. So we have to be careful about stuff like that, too. And, and we’re trying to figure out ways to get through that. But all that said, I think we’ve gone through the negative. Now let’s take a look at some of the positive. Yeah. For instance, we’ve talked about something on the show a little package that we every once awhile like to talk about called Padlet. They have an integration into here, as well. And we were looking at that a little bit before pre show.
Brent Warner 8:46
Wow, if anybody if anybody that doesn’t use Padlet, let me do a little quick reminder on it. Basically, it’s this kind of multimedia online bulletin board. And so you can go in and you can have your students do it as well. And you can post a video and kind of like imagine putting a sticky note on a bulletin board. And then the students can go right underneath that and post their own sticky note. But that could be video, audio, drawing, text, whatever else it is, and links to other websites. And so it can be super interactive. And you know, you can, you can move things around. You can make timelines, you can make maps with it. And so it’s a very versatile and cool tool for education and all sorts of purposes. And so now there’s an integration that makes it accessible for everybody without having to go go into the tech, go into the chat box, click on the link, go leave, zoom, go access it and then come back, right. It basically shows up inside of the main zoom windows, right?
Tim Van Norman 9:47
That’s exactly what it says and what it does. So the beautiful part to that, as you said is you’re not leaving zoom. So you’re in the middle of your class, you’re teaching your class and you keep the students still engaged. It shows up just like I loved how you describe it earlier. It’s like your show, or your share screen for the other person. So they see people off to the side, they see people at the top, however, they’re looking at the people. But this comes up and they it’s interactive, they can actually work with it directly, not having to go to a different browser or something.
Brent Warner 10:29
And I think that’s one of the big things that people struggled with for a long time before in zoom was going, Okay, well, I got to send people out. And we had, actually, when we had class Come on, and classes also one of these integrations that we’re talking about, it’s a layer over zoom, right. But that’s one of the big things that we liked about class two is that you can kind of do that with anything. This is one tool inside of here. So if you’re not, if you’re using zoom, but not class, right, you can still kind of get that functionality, at least with some of the tools that are now available through the App Store.
Tim Van Norman 11:00
And one of the things that none. Very few other packages that I’ve interacted with Anyway, do is make it interactive with the student right there, meaning, in this case, the student is seeing live what they’re typing. Yeah, they’re involved in that in zoom. And that’s the beautiful part to how Padlet works. And I mean, if you use Padlet, definitely worth taking a look at the possibility of setting this up.
Brent Warner 11:33
Yeah. And if you’re on our campus, we have Padlet account. So reach out, make sure you not access it.
Tim Van Norman 11:39
Absolutely. That said another one that we’ve talked about in the past Kahoot. They’ve got Kahoot, a specific app for Kahoot as well. And it literally in the middle of your class. You’re presenting and now all of a sudden, it can come up that you can bring it up and basically do I would call it live polling. Yeah. And, and demonstrate it right there on the screen for them. And they don’t have to go to their device. Yes, a separate device. Again, it’s all done within zoom.
Brent Warner 12:21
So much better. So for this like this, you know, this makes it so much easier, and so much more accessible for people. So when you’re just able to click right there on the screen, I’ve always found it again, it has been a little while to him since I taught a fully full zoom class online. But I always found the polling feature that’s built into zoom a little bit cumbersome, even when they fixed it and made it like hey, you can launch it right here and get it going. It still kind of feels like okay, well, I’m kind of working my way through it. But Kahoot is really clean. I mean it you know, I mean, it’s for everybody. But it’s designed in a way that it’s easily accessible for kids as well. Right? And so you just kind of picked the big blue button, right? And then and so it. So I think that makes a big difference and makes it easier for people to interact. Plus, you can put in graphics and all sorts of other cool things. So. So I think that’s a and I know that Kahoot was one of the first ones we even we did mention it a couple of years ago, but I don’t think the integration was quite as good as it is now.
Tim Van Norman 13:21
No, absolutely. Love the that. Other vendors, other people are developing apps, and add ons to zoom to enhance what, what is a decent package. But now it becomes much more useful. Yeah, yeah. For teaching your class.
Brent Warner 13:43
Tim Van Norman 13:45
Cool. What other things do we have in here? So timers, ever sit in a meeting and wonder, especially if you’re typing your students in, hey, you have your presenting for five minutes. Go, and everybody’s looking at a watch or something like that, you can actually put a timer up in zoom, and start it. And the student can look at a timer. But there’s tightened several different timers that are available in apps in zoom. Some even written by zoom themselves. Yeah.
Brent Warner 14:23
Again, this is like one of those things. It’s so simple and so obvious, right? But but people don’t take advantage of it or they’re not, you know, not kind of recognizing that it’s right there for them. And so I have even in very recent zoom meetings, I’ve seen people go in share screen, go to Google, find a countdown timer, run the timer on Google. They can’t share anything else while they’re doing it. You know, it’s like so yeah, great, simple and should be there so perfect. Tim, I know that this is kind of connected because you’d mentioned this but there you said that there were actually several apps that are actually built by zoom. So like zoom has been building out their own app. infrastructure. So what are some of the ones that at least people who are a little bit more sure that they can get access to?
Tim Van Norman 15:13
So one of them that’s interesting is group photo. So you can have your whole class on Zoom and take a group photo. So why would that be nice? Well, if you try to do it with your phone, you get lines, you get other stuff that’s involved. And this is done by zoom at zooms, you know, on the internet. So it’s going to take the best of the cameras and pull everything in from that. And so it’s a really, it’s a cool option. Yeah, the group photo, and I think usic
Brent Warner 15:51
group photo one, I actually do get, you know, when I’m in these organizational meetings, you know, like all the teachers meetings in there, say, like, oh, good dinner presentation. Now, everybody turn on your camera and wave. So we can kind of have a group, or afterwards group photo. Now, of course, a lot of the times I’ll see them where they kind of set up the techie person to go and do a screenshot of it, right? And then they’re like, Okay, you got to scroll to the next screen and get the screenshot of the next screen and all these things. So you can of course, do that with screenshots. But one, not everybody knows, or, or knows how to take screenshots or save them well, and so just a simple click is great. But two, I think this one also maybe captures multiple screens. So if you have, if you have more than one screen worth, anyways, I’m not going to guarantee that I’m going to say, hey, go in and look at it and make sure, but it might be able to grab all of the group photos instead of just some of them, which would be a cool feature as well, if if I’m kind of assuming that I guess I’m making it up, but it’s there.
Tim Van Norman 16:53
But yet, we haven’t installed this one yet. It’s really cool. But it does seem to indicate that you’re right, it would take a group photo of all 200 people, not just the 49 that you can get on your screen. Cool. So all right, what else do we have? So virtual backgrounds, you know, you can never have enough virtual backgrounds, right? There’s a number of different virtual background apps, and add ons that you can get that do all kinds of things. Early on, you used to have one that had that was a library and had books flying through and stuff like that. And there’s a lot of different things that you can do with virtual backgrounds that you can create your own. But there’s also where you can buy virtual backgrounds, or, or an app that will cycle through virtual backgrounds, or let you choose them or stuff like that. There’s also a concept of shared backgrounds. So you can have all of the people in your class, you can have all the people in your, in your college in your organization, share the same background. So we do that a lot with with the different clubs and different days that are going on or months of, or the year and stuff like that, well, everybody has to be emailed the picture, they have to upload it to their zoom, or it has to be put into a thing and everybody’s got to choose it. Or there’s an option that Zoom has built called Shared backgrounds that would let you share it. Oh, that’s Sorry. Yeah.
Brent Warner 18:28
Like, like Latin history month or whatever. And then it’s like, oh, you can just click on it. You don’t have to go figure out where it was or you know, it’s built in. So yeah, that’s actually, again, a lot of these things, Tim, I think they’re simple, but they’re there. Once you recognize that they’re there. You’re like, oh, that’s actually really useful. And I would take advantage of it. So yeah, that’s great. So then we got some of these zoom one. Are these zoom built in ones? Are there any other ones in here that you feel are really strongly valuable for people?
Tim Van Norman 19:02
Well, so these are the ones that Zoom did. We were looking at some of these and they have a whole section on conversational AI. Oh, yeah. As we were talking at the beginning, you know, we’re getting into AI allied, all that stuff’s happening. We’re so we’re not going to dig into these. There’s a number of them that sure look interesting, though. Again, haven’t haven’t dug into these, just because there’s too many to play with at the moment. But there’s like interview assistants, there’s some that will summarize your notes and transcripts for you. There’s some that takes notes for your when you’re doing a sales call. So while that’s not necessarily for us in education, what about for when you’re having a meeting with your student one on one, wouldn’t it be kind of nice to maybe send them a hey, this is what we talked about.
Brent Warner 20:03
Yeah, for sure. And I think, Otter, we do have otter and I think otter does a summary because because every once in a while, I’ll be in a meeting, and then it’ll say, Hey, Tim, Tim otter will want to log in or something like that, right? And it’s like, what’s that, and then I haven’t played with it a ton. But I do understand that it does that type of work to where it’ll summarize what’s going on and kind of get the key points. And the really valuable thing about this here, Tim, what we’ll we’ll go into these more in the future at some point, these kind of summarizes and things but I think the thing that we want to kind of pay attention to, is that if a student logs in class into class late, so hey, something happened, I’m 15 minutes late, you know, and you can’t really catch them up on everything, because you’re in the middle of the lessons and getting everything going. They can use that, right. So the summarizer, then can say, Hey, these are the things that was talked about inside of those, you maybe you could even check the transcript on it from from that time before. And that way, they can be responsible for catching themselves up instead of you interrupting the class or them having to wait until break time or breakout time or whatever it is so so some of these things actually really make it a lot easier for us as we’re trying to help our students make sure that they’re taking care of themselves as well.
Tim Van Norman 21:20
Oh, absolutely. And along those lines, Otter, for instance, can give a complete transcript. With notes, they can actually go in and take notes in Otter, and highlight things and stuff like that. So there’s a number of different tools that can be used for, for that note taking for the summarization, those types of things. This is a really cool world. Where if you, if you think about it, likely other people have to, and there’s often an app that will do it. You know, the the old concept of there’s an app for that is definitely, definitely coming true. And this is definitely the case. So zoom has built this ecosystem. Some of its paid, some of it is free. There’s a lot of really cool things here. In the end. If you have your own Zoom account, you’ve got maybe some more flexibility with what you want to install and stuff like that. If you’re on a shared account, there’s some there’s some things to look into. And to ask about. Probably once every week or two, I get somebody asking, Hey, can I have this other system? A lot of times, I have to say no, for various reasons, including the fact that we’ve already got it, or we’ve got one that’s almost identical. But well, that’s a yes. Right? If you’ve got it, yes. But it but it’s one of those things that. Try it out and see. Pay attention to what it does, though. Definitely. Don’t just, Oh, I heard about this. So let’s go for it. Okay, so look into it a little bit. Two quick things
Brent Warner 23:11
that I want to just check, make sure that people know. So number one, if they want to look at just all of these apps, right? Because sometimes it’s fun just to go look and see what’s available and what’s out there, and what might maybe kind of spark your imagination. What’s the best way for people to go? Just take a look and see what what’s out there in the broad world of the Zoom ecosystem.
Tim Van Norman 23:30
So understand that zooms website is zoomed at us. So it’s not zoom.com. It’s zoom.us. And so they have a marketplace.zoom.us. Okay, that allows you to take a look at their marketplace. I believe if you go to zoom.us, there’s actually a link at the bottom for it as well. But that’s the best places marketplace. zoom.us.
Brent Warner 23:57
So So then you’re looking around there, you’re finding something, maybe it’s something that you want. What should people do before they request it? Like what kind of research can people do on it before they reach out and say, Hey, Tim, or your equivalent of Tim, I’m looking at this thing, I think it would be good for my classes, instead of making the admin do all the work to figure out whether it’s going to be and I mean, you’re still gonna have to check of course, but like, but is there anything that people can do when they’re looking at things to kind of say, Hey, this is probably a, you know, this is something that actually probably could work and what should they be looking out for?
Tim Van Norman 24:36
If there’s a form to fill out, that’d be the best one. If there’s not a form, sending a complete email is really useful by complete give us the name, give us the links to the documentation, give us the link to the install, anything that you can give us so that we don’t have to go research it ourselves and why that’s important is because while some of these are really nice, and they have nice usable names, workspace is not an actual usable name. So Google, for instance, has a workspace app that is very similar to zoom, linking it into your outlook, it does a lot of the same types of things. But if you just say, Hey, can I have workspace? Am I really gonna dig through all the possible workspace things, just figure out which one you want? And always tell us why? Why do you want it? We’re not saying if I just wanted to play with it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s even better if you can say, hey, I think this is what I heard. This is what I can use it for in my class, can I use it is always better than just a gimme.
Brent Warner 25:54
Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna just go back to that workspace thing, you know, we kind of gave class a little bit of a hard time about, you know, call the other company class. And I came up with the terminology for for all of these ad tech companies, which the when they give themselves the names, I call it bland branding, because they’ve chosen just the worst names, right? And it’s like, it’s like, how many edtech companies out there called Canvas and how many are, you know, like, they are Canva. And something similar, right? They’ve got all these things out there. So they’re just so hard to search for. And so you, it does really help if you kind of send the direct link and say, Hey, this is the one I’m looking for, maybe even kind of describe what the icon looks like if people are aren’t sure because a lot of times they have five or six different ones that are kind of overlapping and similar. So So avoid the bland branding and, and make sure that you’re very clear with everything.
Tim Van Norman 26:52
Absolutely. Thank you for listening today. In this episode, we talked about zoom add ons. For more information about the show, please visit our website at the higher ed tech podcast.com. There you will find our podcasts and links to the information we’ve covered.
Brent Warner 27:10
As always, we do want your feedback. So please go to the higher ed tech podcast.com. And let us know your thoughts. If you have ideas for future shows. There’s a link on that page where you can give us your topic ideas.
Tim Van Norman 27:21
For everyone at IVC. That’s listening. If you need help with technology questions, please contact IVC technical support, or get a hold of me at email@example.com.
Brent Warner 27:34
And if you want to reach out to me about the show, you can find me on LinkedIn at @BrentGWarner.
Tim Van Norman 27:40
I’m Tim Van Norman,
Brent Warner 27:42
and I’m Brent Warner. And we hope this episode has helped you on the road from possibility to actuality. Take care everybody
The world of Zoom Add-ons has grown a lot since it launched 2 years ago. Tim & Brent look at some of the options available and some of the things you might consider if you’re hoping to get them installed on your campus.
Previous Zoom Add-Ons conversation: