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Tips to run Zoom meetings for online coding session

By | blog, tips & tricks, tutorial, Volunteers

We use Zoom to run our online mentorship sessions. It offers several features to give hosting and attending a session a more personal connection. Read on to learn about breakout rooms, polls, screen sharing, remote control, and troubleshooting common issues for hosting a Zoom meeting.

Zoom room

Zoom Break-Out Rooms

Break out rooms are a great way to hold smaller coding sessions off of a larger group meeting. It can provide a space for 1:1 mentorship or can provide a group of learners working on a specific skill, language, or project.

Admins – Setup a breakout room:

Prior to meeting go to the Zoom website:
Account -> Settings -> Break-out Room (very far down the page, ctrl+f to search) and switch it ON.

PRE-ASSIGNMENT

You can pre-assign users to breakout rooms before a session based on emails, or just assign during the call. If people register for the session using a different email then the pre-assignment will not work.

Note: It may be best to allocate 5 minutes during a session call to assign individuals.

To pre assign:

  1. Click Meetings, then Schedule a Meeting
  2. In the Meeting Options section, select Breakout Room pre-assign and click Create Rooms.
  3. Click the plus icon beside Rooms to add breakout rooms.
  4. Hover over the default breakout room name and click the pencil icon to rename.
  5. In the Add participants text box, search for participants’ name or email address to add them to the breakout room. Then save.

To assign during the call:

  1. Start an instant or scheduled meeting.
  2. Click Breakout Rooms.
  3. Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
    • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms.
    • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.
  4. Click Create breakout rooms.
  5. Actions from in the room:
    • Join: Join breakout room.
    • Leave: Leave the room and return to the main meeting (only shows when in a breakout room).
    • Close All Rooms: Stops all rooms after a 60 second countdown, returns all participants back to the main meeting.

Zoom Polling

Ensure Polling is enabled for all members of a specific group or all users:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit user groups.
  2. In the navigation menu, click User Management then Group Management.
  3. Click the name of the group, then click the Settings tab.
  4. Navigate to the Polling option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
  5. If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
  6. Start the scheduled Zoom meeting that has polling enabled.
  7. Click Polls in the meeting controls.
  8. Select the poll you would like to launch. Or, create a poll on the spot.
  9. Click Launch Poll.

Screen Share

  1. Green button in the middle of the bottom of the screen
  2. Share desktop for multiple applications
  3. Share application for Scratch or browser based applications

Annotations

Use annotations to draw on a shared screen.

Remote control

Request or give control of a computer so that a mentor can help resolve issues quickly.

  • Request: When someone is sharing > Zoom bar >
  • Give: When sharing your screen, Zoom bar > Remote Control > Give access to “select person”.

System preferences

Users will need to give Zoom permissions access to their system. Once a user has accepted an invitation to give control for the first time, their computer should open a dialog prompt to ask for permission. The person who requested control will only see that access has been accepted, but until permission is granted the requestor will not be able to control the user’s computer.

Trouble shooting

General

  • Multiple participants can share simultaneously, this can be tricky to navigate with one monitor and requires toggling back and forth between shared screens.
  • When someone opens a share screen it focuses screen and maximizes, this can be changed in your Zoom settings.

Chromebook

  • Annotations and request access do not work on Chromebook
  • Users cannot see the presenter when they sharing their screen on a Chromebook

Covid Update – CoderDojoTo move to online model

By | classes, News, Volunteers

While we are not currently running in person workshops we still strive to provide young learners with mentorship so they can continue enjoy a love of computing.

CoderDojo is now offering online office hours where your child can have a 1:1 video chat with a CoderDojo mentor.
The mentor can guide your child through some online coding lessons or give advice about coding projects.

– Is your child interested in coding, but doesn’t know where to start?
– Does your child have a personal coding project that they need some guidance with?
– Or do you think your child might benefit from a chat with real coders?

Email us with suggested times and the ares of coding interest that your child has.
We’ll arrange a video office hour with you – please note, that 1:1 mentorship requires that the parent is in the room.

Additionally, we will be resuming regular monthly events in Spring 2021.

Are you a mentor who is interesting in joining our team to support office hours?
Let us know and we will be in touch with more details.

Thank you for your interest,

The CoderDojo Toronto team

Session Debrief Minutes: May 14th

By | blog, Volunteers

After each session, we hold a quick (<10min) mentor debrief to see what wins were made that day, introduce any new ideas to work on, and examine what didn’t work.

BIG WINS:
The greatest take away from this session was not a coding win, but a breakthrough with a smarter than average student. This young coder had been to 3 sessions, and brought his C++ coding manual to work through. His heart was already committed to the language, but he was having a struggle advancing quickly. His friends, family, and teachers were not equipped to teach him the language – and likewise – he was having little luck finding his coding community, unable to convince his friends to take on the task of hard-core coding. That few mentors were able to help in meaningful ways was getting the team down – how do we support this coder before he loses interest? The solution was in asking what they wanted to do. The answer was surprising. This young person felt they were letting people down by not having a project that was showing progress. We unpacked, over cake, how important it is to find your coding peers, as they will help push you along in projects – but we also unpacked that C++ is daunting for many programmers – and that even though Scratch might seem like a step backward, that learning to use the programming functions there can help communicate progress to others much more quickly. From beginning to end, we can make a game that people can play in an hour. After a big sigh about what it meant to take that step to a more junior programming language we went back to the computer and got programming. Looking forward to big things from this keen and altruistic learner who wants to learn code to improve his life, and to share it with friends and loved ones.

Other notes from mentors to keep improving our events and program:

BEFORE THE EVENT:
☐ Have a formalized “setup” and “teardown” list to ensure we don’t miss anything when setting up
☐ Update the table layouts guide with the correct layouts
☐ Add question about coding interest area to Eventbrite registration
☐ Print out attendee info from Eventbrite
☐ Convert Scratch activities to Python

DURING THE EVENT:
☐ Have “Activity of the Day” table fully set up and demoing before learners arrive
☐ Have lessons folders set out on the pods before learners arrive

 

By: M. Leslie Bent

Volunteer Position: Curriculum Designer

By | Volunteers

CoderDojo Toronto is looking to for a designer who is interested in solving problems. We have a handful of resources that would benefit from a graphic style alignment, and could be improved for ease of use. This is a 10 – 15 hour onhealthy volunteer position, and can be attributed to any college program with approval from professor.

Skills:
Ability to organize information
Ability to create a simple design style appropriate for young audience

For more information – contact [email protected] or find us on twitter @coderdojoto