wZoom is a video conference platform that is paid for by the ESU Coordinating Council and offered to teachers across Nebraska. At the ESU level, we use Zoom almost exclusively for our video conference meetings, as it works smoothly and has many helpful features.
Recently, Zoom added a green screen feature where users can choose from built in virtual backgrounds or add their own--the options are endless! I tested this new feature earlier this morning, and I am happy to report that it is simple and user-friendly! For my green screen, I purchased a cheap green vinyl table cloth and pinned it to the wall behind where I was sitting. I then added some pictures to the virtual background library in Zoom and recorded a short 1 minute video using different backgrounds. I'll attach a couple of screenshots of how to set this up. Again, it is very simple!
I see a lot of potential uses for this. For teachers who have digital media or journalism classes, students could create newscast videos with appealing virtual backgrounds, and then publish them to the school's YouTube channel. This would reach a broader audience, and would be more engaging than the traditional printed school bulletin. Students could also collaborate on digital projects such as commercials, public service announcements, and content specific videos (i.e. science, social students, etc.).
The green screen feature in Zoom is definitely worth exploring! I hope that my screenshots and instructions are helpful. Good luck, and enjoy!
Ben is the Technology Integration Specialist at ESU 4 in Auburn, NE. He is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer.