What's Next for Zoom in Schools?

Johann Zimmern, Global Education Marketing Lead at Zoom, talks through future product and service strategies for the platform that saved teaching and learning during COVID.

Jun 9, 2022

While no brand wants to be identified with a global pandemic, the Zoom platform is identified as the tool that carried the global workforce, and especially teachers and students, through the past two years. Clichés be damned—everyone AND your grandmother knows not only what it is but how to use it.

So what happens to classrooms and school board meetings now that we’re hopefully back to normal, whatever that means? I had the opportunity to interview Johann about those possibilities. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the EdTech space, having worked for innovative tech companies such as Macromedia, Adobe, Aruba (HPE), and others. In his most recent position, Johann bears responsibility for Zoom's school and university customers. You can click above to follow the full conversation and scroll below for some excerpts.

On how Zoom engages education:

(In March 2020) we went from 10 million daily participants to over 300 million daily participants in just a week or so. And we were able to scale that and enable that communication in a very short turnaround. Since then, we have been looking to enhance the capabilities of the platform in order to address online learning as it will continue post-pandemic. A lot of the features that we are now building into the platform come from recommendations from teachers and faculty members who come to us and say, “Hey, wouldn't it be great if I could change the background image for all of my students at the same time? Wouldn't it be great if I could leverage a whiteboard application separately from the meeting experience?”

We work with an advisory council in K-12, as well as in higher education to understand what the unique nuances are in the education industry versus what we're doing for manufacturing, corporations, and financial service sectors. And we really want to focus on those specific requirements in order to address pedagogy and classroom management in a way that education in an online environment becomes successful. 

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On the new Zoom whiteboard capabilities:

The Zoom platform had a whiteboard embedded but we've now announced the availability of a new whiteboard application that actually stands alone and can be leveraged outside of the meeting space. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from our faculty members who want to be able to have that iteration capability. The whiteboard is sort of the essential communication platform for education. It used to be the old chalkboard with the screechy chalk, and then it went to dry erase markers, and now it becomes digital.

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On schools using Zoom outside the classroom experience:

There's a myriad of activities that have happened on the administrative side at the school district that previously required multiple people to drive to the district office, find parking, get the custodian to stay after hours, etc. All of those things have changed during the pandemic. And now people see the benefits of having these tools available to substitute data and augment in-person conversation. That’s not going to go away.