Sharing Audio over Zoom

Sharing good quality audio sources on your computer over Zoom can be tricky. You don’t simply want to play music over your speakers and let your computer microphone pick it up. That will sound terrible to remote listeners. Watch this demonstration video to learn how to use the settings on your computer to stream audio via a browser or iTunes or even a midi keyboard.

Pros: vastly improves experience for remote listeners.

Cons: adjusting the settings can be tedious, because . . they are.

Experts: Alex Savoth, Richard Freedman


Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create “grids” to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called “topics,” and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display.

Pros:  Free, simple to use. Web-based. 

Cons:  Limited editing capabilities. 

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard


Panopto is available directly from Moodle, and allows Faculty or students to record their screen or camera and share it with others.  Panopto can also be used as a repository for Zoom recordings or additional media. 

Panopto has many useful features for capturing and replaying lectures. It will time stamp and index PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, allow you to insert questions into a lecture, and let students take notes or ask questions at a particular time stamp. There are also detailed stats for each video, which are only accessible to teachers and admin. 

Pros: Easy and efficient built in editing. Accessible metrics. Indexes Powerpoint or Keynote presentations, which will allow students to jump to important sections for review. Built in quizzing. Editable captions. Allows video upload and streaming.

Cons: Integration between Moodle, Zoom, and desktop client can be a little confusing. Also, the program is complex; while it can perform a number of different tasks, there is a bit of a learning curve for some of it’s features.

Expert: Sharon Strauss, Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard


Zoom is available to all Haverford community members, and allows users to video conference with people either in large groups or in smaller sessions. Zoom also has the ability to record your meetings online and add captions, if you want to do more formal presentations that you can then share afterwards via Moodle.

Pros: Available to everyone with a haverford email address, can be used with anyone as long as the ‘Host’ has a licensed account, allows for interaction with participants to be a part of the recording, if that is important to you. Provides meetings transcriptions, which can be downloaded as caption files. 

Cons: Limited long term storage space, you will have to download the recording after it is available and upload it to, Google Drive, or Moodle if you want to hang on to the recording. Limited to no editing capabilities. 

Note: Starting September 27, 2020, Zoom will require a password for all meetings. See this explanation from IITS.

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard

Voice Thread for student audio or video assignments

Voicethread is a great tool for collecting audio from students. It will also work for short video assignments or performances. 

Pros: Lightweight, done entirely within the browser so students don’t have to download any extra software, integration with Moodle, accepts a wide variety of media formats.

Cons: Requires an internet connection to use. Archiving presentations is somewhat of a tedious and cumbersome process. 
Expert: Hiroyo Saito, Sharon Strauss, Charles Woodard, Alex Savoth

Whiteboard and Notebook Display Tricks

We’ve learned of various ways to share a whiteboard, notebook or other content while on Zoom. These include:

  • Share Tablet with Stylus.  If you have a tablet and stylus you can connect it directly to zoom, then share its screen and allow participants to see everything you write or draw.  See detailed explanation here.
  • Share Notebook with Phone Camera.  Here you raid your pantry for a pair of cans that will hold your phone over a notebook as you write.  Install Zoom on the phone and join the meeting, then ‘share’ the camera to participants. If you have an iPhone you can share the phone camera via a wired or wireless connection (see here). You could even record the Zoom session and thus make a permanent, shared record of what you wrote and explained.  Here is one version of this approach:
  • View Whiteboard, Lab, or Studio Situation with Laptop, Camera, or Phone.  Here Suzanne Amador-Kane uses an artist’s easel, large whiteboard, and house-bound spouse to demonstrate how to broadcast or record a lecture.  Here also is another version of this done with two devices.

Pros:   Gets the job done.

Cons:  Some solutions require multiple devices. Hacks can be unstable (in all ways).  Tricky to avoid audio feedback problems.

Oral Discussions in Moodle

VoiceThread allows students to record their own voice and share their ideas with others. Subsequent students (or even the instructor) can in turn react to these ideas with subsequent VoiceThread recordings.  

Pros:  Built-in to Moodle.  It is easy for students (and faculty) to create their speech and presentation videos, and watch others’ videos in class or beyond.

Cons:  Checking and/or commenting on all the VoiceTheads created by students can be extremely time-consuming, especially when the class size is more than ten or so. Keeping track of who commented on which VoiceThread can be difficult, once there are many posts.

Expert: Sharon Strauss


Audacity is a simple but flexible desktop audio recording software for podcasts or performances. It can be used with an external microphone or your computers microphone

Pros:  Free, simple to use. Cross platform

Cons:  Less powerful than Ardour

Expert: Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard



Ardour is a sophisticated digital audio workstation that allows multitrack recording of different sound sources with full editing and sound effects. 

It is almost free–pay what you want (as little as $1) and works on all platforms.

Recording Video of Lectures and Presentations

Panopto or Zoom

You can record a lecture and share with your students online, either after delivering it live or instead of delivering it live. We suggest you record your presentations in Panopto or Zoom and share recordings via Moodle. You can either record directly into Panopto or use the Moodle Zoom link to send Zoom recordings to your Panopto course folder.

Zoom is a quick and easy way to record. However, if you already use Panopto, we recommend that for recording a traditional lecture. Panopto was designed for this purpose and thus Panopto has many useful features for capturing and replaying lectures. It will time stamp and index PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, allow you to insert questions into a lecture, and let students take notes or ask questions at a particular time stamp.


Loom is a free screencast extension for Chrome browser (all platforms) that allows users to make and save (locally or on Loom server).  Records screen, browser tab, camera, or any combination.  Audio records from computer microphone and browser.  

It is free, quick, and simple to use, but offers very limited editing capabilities (trimming video only).


Camtasia is a desktop platform for making professional quality screen casts, with extensive capture, media management and editing facility.

It is a very powerful software suite, but costs $160 for educator’s license and has a moderately steep learning curve. Perfectionists will likely spend a lot of time trying to make things… perfect.

Expert: Alex Savoth and Charles Woodard