Zoom Fatigue is Real
Tips for Managing Zoom
Let’s be present to absence, without becoming absent to presence.
Virtual Interactions (like Zoom) Can Be Hard On the Brain
As human beings:
The brain derives a lot of meaning from non-verbal cues
Prolonged eye contact, which is now the strongest facial cue, if held too long
Can feel threatening
Or overly intimate
We are also not used to seeing ourselves talking onscreen!
Multi-person screens can challenge the brains central vision so that no one comes through meaningfully elevating a sense of:
Continuous partial attention
Becoming less collaborative
Tips for Managing Zoom as a Department, Campus, or Team
Create Agreements for Clear Expectations and to Build Trust
Offer turning on the camera as optional
Choose an avatar that feels good to you if you turn off your camera
Choose a background that is school appropriate
Pick a place in your house you feel comfortable others seeing (and your family does too)
Use the chat feature thoughtfully
Always give a heads up if you are recording the zoom or downloading chat notes
Add in your preferred pronouns to your name
Mute yourself when you are not speaking so others can hear well
If possible consider ways to provide turn-taking for people to share
Consider practices for checking into people’s well being
Encourage note-taking to increase focus & retention
Remember to Always Use the Zoom Educator Safety Protocols
There have been instances locally and nationally of "zoom-bombing". Please make sure that you enable the educator security measures when hosting a Zoom gathering. These include:
1) Utilize the waiting room
2) Set a password for your meeting
3) Know your participant controls in case you need to remove a participant quickly
Recognize Not Every Call Needs to Be a Video Call
Embrace phone calls (for movement, enjoy a “walk & talk”)
Consider other forms of communication: text, email, group chat
What could be an email?
What could be an infographic?
Ways to Manage Zoom to Find Balance and Connection
Establish Protocols for Multi-person Meetings
Leverage the chat for sharing less-pressing thoughts or relevant links (like agendas)
Consider the “thumbs up” reaction to signal agreement with the conversation
Create new customs like a metaphorical talking stick
Use the “breakout room” to create smaller work/chat groups
Use "share screen" when you feel like a visual is important in a meeting
Take a few moments before stepping into a meeting to settle and ground your attention
A few deep breaths, making yourself comfortable, and feeling your feet on the floor can go along way. If you are open to mindfulness, check out Stop, Breath, and Think which is a app free for educators. https://www.stopbreathethink.com/educators/
You can also check out the Mindful Minutes by our AISD SEL Mindfulness Specialist, James Butler and some other special AISD rock stars - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk8vStkqPsIPKQv5a7w_dkyy86e4PfF7K
Take time to truly greet whomever is in the room with your full attention (if the group is not too big)
Offer your attention to each face that appears
Give yourself an opportunity to feel what it feels like to be in the presence of another in this moment
Choose “Speaker View.”
One person speaking has more of your attention
Mimics the natural focus of attention in a meeting at a conference table.
Tracking a gallery array of people can be challenging & exhausting.
Resist the Urge to Multi-task
Avoid putting additional effort into attending to anything else
Allow your attention to rest lightly and supportively to what or who is in front of you
Periodically ease up your focus to gaze out your window, sip water, stretch
Take paper-pen notes to help you attend to what’s being shared
Remember that all chat notes (even if they are to individuals and say private) can be downloaded and saved by the Zoom host
Try to take measured breaks between sessions.
Avoid scheduling meetings back to back. Give your brain a chance to switch gears.
Take a break away from a screen between meetings
Get fresh air, a glass of water, use the restroom, do jumping jacks or take a 10-min brisk walk
Create a list of activities that might restore and refresh you before, during and after meetings.
Have a bottle of water nearby to help with my focus and hydration.
Have a snack to get some glucose to your brain!
Remind yourself periodically this is a new place
These are unprecedented times. Be mindful of holding on to that part of your awareness that helps you notice the positives or benefits. Imagine life in a pandemic without Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc. Video-call interfacing allows us to:
Maintain long-distance relationships
Connect workrooms remotely
Foster some sense of togetherness
AISD SEL Department
Thank you for all you do for your students, each other, and our community. Please reach out to your SEL Specialist if you have an idea/suggestion/question we can help with.