Have you ever been to software training or participated in a virtual webinar where you can’t see the screen very well? Or, you can’t see the facilitator’s mouse or where they’re pointing?
We’ve probably all been there! (So frustrating, right?!) Well, here’s a facilitator question we get (all the time) that we love to share with fellow trainers: “What software do you use to do that thing with your mouse and zoom your screen?”
The answer is simple and, best of all…it’s free!
1. Mouse Properties
There are two tricks that I do with my mouse to make it easier for students in class to see. Open your mouse properties on your machine and let’s take a look:
Mouse Trick #1
Change your mouse pointer to extra-large!
And keep in mind that your mouse visibility may depend on the software that you’re teaching. If the software you’re training has a white/light background, having a dark mouse makes it that much easier for students to see.
Mouse Trick #2
Show the location of your mouse pointer when referencing something on the screen. Here’s how it looks to the class:
In Windows Mouse Properties, the setting is to “Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key.” Now, all I have to do is press and release the CTRL key to show my students exactly where my mouse is and where I want them to focus and/or click! So neat!
Tip: When you’re using Articulate Storyline 360’s screen recording tool, be aware that pressing the CTRL key on your keyboard will add those steps to the process too, so we recommend avoiding and/or disabling this feature while creating a Storyline 360 system simulation interaction.
2. Zoom Function
Hard to see the screen? Small commands in the software? Time to “ZoomIt!”
Large room, small screen…sometimes the screen is simply tough for students to see. So, we use a free tool called ZoomIt, which allows us to zoom in on our screen and even click and draw (in case you need to circle the command or item to pay attention to or highlight an area).
You may need permission from your IT department first, but it’s a must for us and has been for more than a decade! This free Microsoft download can be found here.
After installation, the ZoomIt software runs in the System Tray, and we’ll activate it at any time using a hotkey combination. Here’s how it works:
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” Respect your students by letting them actually see what you’re teaching! Good luck in your training classes, and let us know if you have any questions.