More than just video-conferencing.

Zoom has gotten off to a popular start here at CSS. While many are using it to hold meetings and communicate remotely, there's a wealth of wonderful features that can bring a whole new dimension to this tool.

Read on for some inspiring examples, tips for getting started with Zoom, and other resources.

Getting Started with Zoom

It's easy to get started with Zoom! We've assembled a webpage full of tutorials, videos, and other instructions. Click here to check out the Zoom Information Page.

We're also hosting a Zoom Training Session next Tuesday (January 16th) from 12-1 pm in Tower 1115. Click here to copy the event to your Google Calendar.

If you have questions, please contact us at ATOL@css.edu

A Zoom-Enhanced Classroom

Q&A with Amber Schlater, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

Amber Schlater working at a computer
Picture courtesy of Humans of CSS Facebook Page

How did you use Zoom in your classes in a creative way?
PowerPoint lectures are a regular, albeit small, component to my Physiology laboratories, yet there is no projector in the lab where I currently teach. Last summer, in a meeting with the Academic Technology crew, I inquired about installing a new projector in my Physiology laboratory; while this was within the realm of possibilities, it was brought to my attention that such an upgrade would come with a hefty price-tag.This left me with a bit of a dilemma: we needed a technology solution for lecture visuals, but comparatively speaking, it was lower on the priority list.
Cue in Jane Sims. She noticed that we had student computers at each table in the lab, all of which were connected to the network, and suggested using Zoom to connect student computers to my computer at the head of the lab when doing PowerPoint presentations. This fall semester, I took Jane's suggestion and used Zoom every Physiology lab.
Here's what I found: it was a huge success! Moreover, the students really enjoyed it; because screens were right in front of them, they could see the slides really well. This was especially helpful when we were looking at detailed images, such as cell micrographs. Also, because students were grouped together (rather than using their own personal device screen), it wasn't an isolating experience. The service was reliable, it was easy to implement, and it didn't change the way I lecture - I can still move around the room, and if I need to highlight something on a slide, I can move over to the computer and use PowerPoint's built-in laser.
How do you work with technology in the classroom? Any strategies?
I work with technology in the classroom patiently (at least that's what I keep telling myself!) When things go awry, I try to avoid troubleshooting on my own because this is not my area of expertise; instead, I utilize our expert technology staff.
Ultimately it is important to me to keep technology as an enhancement/supplement rather than a crutch - expect the occasional technological snafu, always have a back up in place, and outsource problems to our expert staff members.

Key Features of Zoom

  • Easy to use
  • Installs in seconds with no fuss
  • ALL faculty, staff, and students get a basic account.
  • Simple, fast screen recording
  • Basic features work on multiple devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Ability to phone in for audio.
  • Works well for guests and outside CSS (no registration or account needed!)
  • Works consistently.
  • Fun to say.

Pro Account or Basic Account?

Everyone at CSS has access to a Basic Zoom Account, which has nearly all of the features of the Pro Zoom Account. Here's a quick comparison of the differences between a Pro Zoom Account and a Basic Zoom Account.
a graphic comparing the features of a free and a pro zoom account
If you think you may need one, you can click here to request a Pro Zoom Account.

Zoom Saves the Interview!

Zoom can easily record presentations for future viewing. The Chemistry Department harnessed Zoom to record faculty candidates so that all candidates' presentations could be viewed, even if faculty had to miss the live presentation.

From Lori Hodapp, Organic Chemistry Lab Instructor: "Our department used Zoom technology in our search to hire a Physical Chemist. We used Zoom to videotape the class presentation portion of our four finalist candidates on campus.

With good training from Eric Mistry we were able to learn the technology easily. After each presentation the videotape was uploaded to the cloud and accessible to faculty who could not be at the actual event. This allowed each faculty to give valuable input into the hiring process. We are grateful for the use of Zoom and the help in learning how to use it."

Creative Ways to Use Zoom In Your Classroom

  • Host a guest speaker
  • Have students record feedback for peer review
  • Capture small lecture bits for easy review later in term
  • Easily share your slides to every student's device, live!
  • Host a review session without leaving your house!
  • Snow day? (We know it's unlikely...): host class remotely!
  • Want to review in-class discussions later? Set up a Zoom recording.
  • Create content for your flipped classroom easily.


First, tomorrow is the January ATI from 8 am - 11:30 am in Science 1206 and on Zoom. We hope to see you there!

Second, just a reminder that 2018 will bring changes to your access to your Adobe Connect and Office Mix recordings. Your current Adobe Connect license will not be renewed as of March 1 because CSS now offers Zoom accounts. Microsoft is discontinuing Office Mix on January 15. You will need to download any recordings in Adobe Connect or Office Mix that you wish to retain.

Download Adobe Connect recordings by February 15, 2018.
Download Office Mix recordings by January 8, 2018.

Please complete this form now, even if you do not have or plan to download recordings.
Adobe Connect & Office Mix Notification Form

Follow these instructions for downloading and sharing recordings you wish to retain.

If you have any questions or need assistance in meeting these deadlines, please email us at atol@css.edu.