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Check out our newest case study: Mount Holyoke Develops Teachers’ Careers Through Innovative Zoom Meetings. This case looks at how Mount Holyoke College is using Zoom to provide ongoing professional development and graduate programs to math teachers who can no longer travel to the college due to district budget cuts.
We met with Michael Flynn – director of Mathematics Leadership Programs – and Megan Allen – a visiting lecturer in education and program developer – to discuss their online education solution and how Zoom plays into it.
Flynn and Allen take two different approaches to using Zoom: “I’m running my courses completely online, so I have a class that meets once a week completely on Zoom,” said Allen. “Michael has more of a blended learning method, where he meets in-person with some of his students while also Zooming with others that could not physically attend classes.”
Despite the differences in their teaching methods, there is one single goal in mind: facilitating Zoom to establish a collaborative network of students that receive the same experience through a remote meeting environment as they would in an in-person setting.
“Every time we tried doing this online, it would fall flat because of the constraints in the software,” describes Flynn. “With Zoom, however, we were able to have teachers around the world using the software to interact in real time with our classroom. Since math is a difficult language to reproduce on a keyboard, it’s generally been problematic at best to enable collaboration on math-related coursework through simple screen sharing. Zoom’s annotation tool makes it possible for people to write mathematical expressions on a screen as they would on paper, allowing them to seamlessly express their ideas with their peers…”
The students have become equally engaged regardless of whether they were connected remotely or sitting behind a classroom desk.
“We had a teacher in Seattle who would wake up at the early hours of the morning to attend our classes,” said Flynn. “These students stayed with us from 8:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon regardless of time zone…This level of commitment was the result of how active and dynamic the courses were and how well Zoom’s platform supported the work.”
The Seattle student Flynn referred to only signed up for a week to test out the experience. After the week was over, she asked Flynn to sign her up for another week. Zoom played an unequivocal role in student engagement by providing a flexible, easy-to-use, and intuitive cloud meeting platform that places collaboration first. This naturally creates the framework with which customers can use their ingenuity and arrange meetings in diverse ways that provoke engagement.