What you need to know
- Zoom has a new Focus mode to help stop students from being distracted in virtual classrooms.
- Focus mode hides the video of other participants while leaving a presenter's video in view.
- Presenters can turn Focus mode on or off during an active meeting.
Zoom has a new feature to help students stay focused during online learning. The app's new Focus mode allows teachers to show their video feed within a class while hiding everyone else's. Based on testing by The Verge, Focus mode appears to work with free Zoom accounts.
Focus Mode can be turned on and off during a call, so a teacher could hide the videos of students during one element of a class and then open up face-to-face interaction for another part.
When Focus mode is active, students will see their video and video from the host, including screen shares and video feeds from a camera. While participants' faces are hidden, people will be able to see the names of other participants and emoji reactions.
Some of the features in Focus Mode are available in Zoom's Webinar mode. Notably, Focus mode appears to work with free Zoom accounts while Webinar mode costs money. Webinars are also more complicated, so Focus mode should be an easier way to draw attention to a teacher or presenter.
Zoom has a support document to help enable Focus mode for accounts and to use it within meetings.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).