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5 Ideas to Improve Zoom

How might we make the best synchronous learning and virtual meeting platform even better?

April 1, 2019
 
 

Sitting on my computer is Zoom’s S-1 filing, detailing the company’s plan to go public.

As I was figuring out when I can carve out some time to carefully go through the document, I got to thinking about how Zoom might be improved.

How would you improve Zoom?

My sense is that Zoom is taking higher ed by storm. Zoom seems to be taking over for Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, WebEx, Blackboard Collaborate, Skype, Fuze, and GoToMeeting. (What am I missing?).

Still, I’d like to see some market share data on synchronous learning and virtual meeting platforms for higher ed.  Can anyone help?

I’m a heavy Zoom user. At some point, my meeting life crossed over - so now the majority of my meetings are on Zoom. This is a function of wanting to use the same platforms for work that my school is using for synchronous online learning.

5 ideas to improve Zoom:

#1 - Zoom Seminar (Zoominar):

What I’d like is to have the virtual equivalent of sitting around a seminar table. So I’d like to suggest a Zoom display option (beyond Speaker, Thumbnail, and Gallery).  In Seminar, the content (the seminar table) is in the middle of the screen, and the webcam videos would be arrayed around the content in a circle (or an oval).  The center content could be either screen sharing or a shared writing space.  Going around the table would make discussions easier.

#2 - Zoom-to-Zoom:

Zoom-to-Zoom would combine the goodness of FaceTime with the scalability and options of Zoom. What I’d like is to be able to click one button to open a Zoom with someone in my contact list.  I’d also like to be able to provide a “Trusted Zoom” list so that anyone that I give permission can Zoom me with one click.  This would get around the need to send a Zoom link.

#3 - Zoom Available (Zoomable):

Zoom should have presence awareness and the option to signal your availability.  It should be easy to toggle that I’m available for anyone to Zoom me (Zoom-to-Zoom), to in effect “drop in” to my virtual office.  Likewise, I should be able to see who is available for a quick Zoom chat.

#4 - Zoom Analytics (Zoomalytics):

Zoom must be collecting a ton of data for each meeting.  Where people are located.  What devices they are using.  Bandwidth.  Speaking time.  All sorts of things. I’d like to have a Zoom Analytics (Zoomalytics) dashboard that breaks down numbers by individual meetings, and aggregates across all meetings.  It would be good to be able to have Zoomalytics on a program and university level as a well.

#5:  Zoom Google Docs Integration (Zoomoogle).

I keep wondering about how a Zoom / Google Docs integration might work? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to open up a Zoom while co-editing a shared document?

The challenge with all these ideas is to avoid Zoom feature creep.  The beauty of Zoom is its simplicity.  The last thing we want to do is have Zoom start to look like any Microsoft Office product, with a large number of features that are rarely used. I think that my five ideas preserve the elegance of Zoom.  

What would you like to see from Zoom?

Would you like quizzing (like Adobe Connect)?

What has been your experience with Zoom?

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