Cartoon image of a boy raising his hand at a desk with a laptop with headphones and window image of a virtual teacher in the background.

Zoom and NVDA tutorial videos (and note taking skills)

Practice note taking skills while learning how to use Zoom with NVDA.

Virtual meetings and virtual instruction became every-day experiences for students and adults during COVID and continue to be a widely used tool for both work and school. Even kindergarten students were learning and participating in virtual classes! For students, virtual meeting platforms like Zoom are typically associated with virtual instruction. Zoom, a video conferencing tool is also used to provide instructors and students a way to meet online synchronously with or without using video. These virtual sessions can also be recorded and later accessed by students.

For K-12 students, virtual instruction may offer a wider variety of course options. For students with low vision or blindness, there is an increasing trend to provide virtual instruction for assistive technology, digital math and/or computer science by highly qualified people. Not every TSVI feels comfortable or knowledgable on these challenging topics.

Colleges offer a large variety of virtual courses geared for students who are attending from remote locations and for students who are taking some courses in person. Flexibility and personal preference are two common reasons for students opting to take virtual courses and students with low vision or blindness have many unique reasons for preferring virtual courses.


Using Zoom with NVDA

Before taking a virtual course, students need to know how to access the virtual platform. Thee Quinn has created a series of video tutorials on how to use Zoom with NVDA. These videos are appropriate for students to watch and learn – what a great way for students to practice for taking a virtual course!

Before watching the videos, your student should be prepared to take notes during the video. For some students, note taking might be easier to initially do on a separate device. If your student is not used to taking notes while listening, provide leading questions ahead of time or an outline with blanks that he/she has to listen for and answer while watching the video. To create questions appropriate for your student, the TSVI should always watch the video prior to the lesson to pull out key points. The video transcript can be used to confirm commands or other details – for both the educator and the student! There are five videos in this series, so lots of opportunities to build strong note taking skills!

Note taking resources

Note: The videos are auditory only. This may be beneficial for students as they can focus on listening and note taking and not watching the video.

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 1 (Methods of Joining a Meeting) video tutorial:

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 1 (Methods of Joining a Meeting) video transcript.

The next video, Part 2, has numerous steps – perfect for creating a “list-type” layout when taking notes!

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 2 (Scheduling a Meeting) video tutorial:

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 2 (Scheduling a Meeting) transcript.

This time, instead of providing the transcript, teach your student how to find the auto-generated transcript available on the YouTube website with the video. Keep in mind, that this auto-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate. Can you find any mistakes in this transcript? Remember, auto-generated text currently does not include punctuation!

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 3 (Navigating the Meeting: The Basics, Audio and Video) video tutorial:

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 4 (Sharing Your Screen and Meeting Security) video tutorial:

Using Zoom with NVDA Part 5 (Managing Participants and Breakout Rooms) video tutorial:

Remember, the true definition of mastering a tech skill is when the student is able to teach someone else that tech skill. Provide an opportunity for your student to teach someone else or better yet, to create a tutorial video (ideally with your computer screen displayed) of how he/she is using Zoom in an education setting. The video might focus on how and when do you use the “raise hand” option or “thumbs up” emoji, or demonstrate using a different virtual platform, different device, or different screen reader. Share the tutorial with us a [email protected]!


Virtual tech instruction resources

Interested in learning more about virtual tech instruction for students who are low vision or blind? Check out the series on Layla’s virtual tech instruction!

By Diane Brauner

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