Category Archives: How-To Guides

Stanford Study Addresses Zoom Fatigue and Potential Fixes

While many of our students are back onsite full-time, approximately 40% of ICCSD students continue to participate in our fully-online learning program.  As each of those students – along with our teachers, community members who spend hours at a time in Zoom meetings, and others – have learned, videoconferencing can be exhausting! 

I happened upon a recent article that explores the findings of a Stanford research team that was focused on the root causes of videoconferencing fatigue.  This reinforces some of our rationale for limiting the amount of synchronous instructional time, which has been shown to be far more taxing than in-person interaction. Beyond identifying the causes for Zoom fatigue, the team suggested simple fixes that may minimize the negative impacts on meeting participants. A summary of those findings is below, along with some ICCSD-adapted potential fixes. Continue reading Stanford Study Addresses Zoom Fatigue and Potential Fixes

fixing chromebook microphone issues

We’ve found that many Chromebook microphone issues can be solved by adjusting the microphone volume. On most Chromebooks (may not work on older Chromebooks), that can be done by: 

  • At the bottom right, select the time.
  • Next to the volume slider, select Audio settings .
  • Under “Input,” drag the microphone slider left or right (I recommend setting the volume somewhere in the middle)

    Chromebook volume settings

     

    Another possible audio problem is feedback (a screeching sound). This can often be solved by turning the speaker volume down and/or having the student mute themselves when not speaking.

Canvas Video Conferencing

In addition to Zoom and Google Meet, ICCSD teachers also have access to the video conferencing tool built into our Canvas LMS. Please check out the video below for a quick walkthrough that shows how to set up and use the Canvas Conference feature.

Zoom Video Conferencing Best Practices

UPDATED: 09/11/2020

As the use of Zoom has exploded in ICCSD and around the country, here are some best practices to implement in order to ensure that your Zoom meetings run effectively and securely.  

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Zoom alternative, you should check out Canvas Video Conferencing or Google Meet.  

1. Do not post Zoom links publicly

Share Zoom meeting URLs by email, Canvas site, shared document, or another form of direct or secured communication.  

2. Create meeting-specific URLs, rather than using your personal meeting room

If you use your personal meeting room, you run a greater risk of the URL being exposed than when using a one-time or meeting-specific URL.  

3. Ensure that you (and your students) are using an ICCSD Zoom account

  • To log in, visit Zoom’s Sign-In page and click “Sign in with Google”
  • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 

4. Consider using secure options for your meetings

These options include: 

  • Add a passcode to your meeting
  • Require all students to use their full name when joining class.  
  • Enable your meeting waiting room to approve attendees. Only allow students to join who are using their full (first and last) name. 
  • Control or disable in-meeting chats, if the chat feature isn’t required for a meeting
  • If your meeting includes only ICCSD individuals, you can check “Only authenticated users can join meetings”.  Note that students and staff would need to log in to Zoom rather than joining as a guest; all ICCSD users can log in using Zoom’s “Log In with Google” option.  
    • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 
  • If you are sharing your screen, you can lock annotation by clicking the “…More” button in the main toolbar, then choosing “Disable Attendee Annotation”
  • Lock your meeting after all expected attendees have joined.  You can do this by clicking the “Participants” button, then clicking “…More” toward the bottom of the participants panel and selecting “Lock Meeting”.  

 

ICCSD Tech Support

Iowa City Schools students, families, and staff can reach us to obtain technical support using any of the methods listed below. Also, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page to support home use of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICCSD Helpdesk

Hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday

helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Phone: (319) 688-1950

Chat: Use the chat option available in the bottom right corner of this page during business hours.

Spanish language support is available at the ICCSD helpdesk.

After-Hours Help

Hours: 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Monday – Friday

Click here to reserve a time slot

Pearson Education has partnered with the Iowa City Schools at no charge to offer after-hours technology support through their customer service centers in Iowa City and San Antonio, TX.

The District has coordinated with  Pearson to help support District students, families, and staff, though please be aware that certain types of requests will need to be referred back to the District.

Spanish language support is available via the Pearson after-hours support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check this document for current answers to the most common questions we receive related to offsite learning.