Zoom Introduces New 'Focus Mode' to Prevent Distraction

The aim is to keep kids focused during remote learning sessions

Zoom has revealed a new Focus Mode option, designed to help kids stay, well, focused during their remote classes.

With a new school year right around the corner, Zoom wants to make it easier for kids and parents to manage remote learning. In a blog post full of back-to-school tips, Zoom recommends trying out the new Focus Mode, which "your child’s teacher might introduce in class to help students stay attentive."

Girl (6-7) leaning back on chair while remote learning

Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Focus Mode allows teachers to view all the video feeds from their students as usual, but students only will see their own and the teacher's feed. Zoom's theory is that this will keep students from getting distracted by their classmates, while still letting the teacher keep an eye on the classroom.

Screen sharing is similarly limited, with teachers able to share their screen with the room, but students only can share with the teacher. Though, if needed, the teacher can decide to share a student's screen with the rest of the class, as well.

Zoom Focus Mode in use

Zoom Video Communications, Inc

To use Focus Mode, the host first has to make sure they're using the Zoom desktop client for either Windows or macOS. Participants will still be affected by Focus Mode regardless of the version they're running—they just may not receive a notification that Focus Mode is enabled. Once Focus Mode is on, participants will only see the host's and co-host's video feeds, and only the names of the other participants.

Zoom's Focus Mode is available to use now, so long as your host is using version 5.7.3 or above.

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