Zoom introduces Focus Mode that lets host decide if participants can see each other

In an attempt to make the online education system better, Zoom has recently introduced a new feature called Focus Mode. The feature allows students to stay attentive during virtual classes and not get distracted. Through this feature, teachers will be able to hide videos and screen shares of students so that they won’t be able to see what their peers do in the class. Also, teachers will be able to look at all the students and their screen shares. Not just in the classroom system, but this feature can be useful in several other cases such as virtual corporate meetings.

Image: Zoom

Focus Mode contrasts Zoom's Immersive View feature that allows participants to interact with each other in a virtual room. Immersive view released in April this year. Coming to the features, Focus Mode will allow the hosts to decide participants' visibility to others during meetings. Teachers, per se, can turn off the Focus Mode during the class and allow the focus of students to be on the concept being taught and discussed. Enabling this mode will not allow peers to see each other in a virtual class on Zoom; however, they will still be able to see their videos, names, and emoji reactions and hear other students in the same class. The overall experience of Focus Mode will be similar to that during webinars.

To enable Focus Mode, you must have the Zoom desktop client version 5.7.3 on a Windows or Mac machine. This feature is not currently supported by mobile devices. The older Zoom versions with Focus Mode will not allow users to see others in the meeting if the host cannot see them.

Focus Mode can be enabled by the host for all users in an account, group, or selective set of users. It initially needs to be turned on from the Zoom Web portal and can be further accessed during a virtual meeting. They can click the "More" button on the meeting toolbar for further access.

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