Broadcast slides and images to mobile devices with Zoho Show

One thing I often like to do in my classes is to broadcast slides and images to my students’ mobile devices. Broadcasting simply means that instead of using a projector at the front of class to show slides and images, the slides and images get shared in real time over the internet. Anyone with access to the link can watch the slides or images change when the speaker changes them. Here is an example of how I have used it in class.


The other day in my TESL training class, I had a set of questions I wanted the students to discuss in groups. I had a few options. I could give them a handout with all of the questions on it and ask them to work them for a set period of time. Alternatively, I could read them out loud one at a time whenever I felt they were ready to change. Another possibility would be to put one question on each slide and then have them keep an eye on the front screen for changes in the questions. None of those really fit what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to take the attention away from the front of the class and put it on the group itself. I also didn’t want to even be noticed throughout the process, even if I was wandering around and listening in.

Instead, I chose to create a set of questions slides using Zoho Show and then I broadcast those slides to their mobile devices. To do that, I copied the broadcast link from my slides and I created a QR code they could scan. I made a few copies of the QR code and placed them in the centre of each group for them to scan. I loaded the slides up on my tablet (I could have also used my phone) and I clicked on the first questions slide. Each student saw the presentation on their mobile device change to that slide. They were told to keep discussing that question until another questions appeared on their device. I wandered around and listened. When I felt it was time to move on, I simply swiped to the next question. I didn’t say anything or make any indication that things had changed. Students moved to the next question once they noticed it and they were ready to move on. At the end of the questions, I simply ended the broadcast and made the slides available for download. By doing it this way instead of giving them a list of questions from the start, it stopped the groups from moving through the questions too quickly and forced them to think deeply about each question.


Conversation: For one of my English language classes, we were going over public conversations. We talked about what you may say to a shopkeeper, a ticket agent, or even someone on the street if you need help with something. I then took a series of pictures I had downloaded from Pixabay and I put them as large as a could on individual slides in Zoho Show. I them put the students in pairs and shared the broadcast link with them. They were to role play the conversation they thought was happening in the image. They need to go as long as possible, only stopping when I changed the image. Here are two sample photos to give you an idea of what that looked like:

Scavenger Hunt: I wanted my students to get to know the campus a little bit, so I put together a little scavenger hunt by creating clues of where to go on campus. Once they arrived they had to take a photo of their group at that spot. To do this, I created a set of clues, one per slide, and I then duplicated that set of slides so each group had their own slide deck. I then mixed up the order of the clues on each presentation and opened each slide deck in a different tab on the computer. I shared the broadcast link for each presentation and gave one to each group. I then sent them on their way. After about a minute, I moved all of the slide decks to the first clue. I then waited about 5 minutes before moving to the next clue and so on until the end of the clues. This allowed the clues to be evenly spaced out in case one group was a lot faster or slower than the rest. The last slide told them to come back to the classroom, even if they hadn’t found all of the places. We then looked over the photos to see who had found the most places.

Interview: In this situation, I had a class that was preparing for a job interview. Students were part of a program where they needed to interview for an internship. We went over possible interview questions and possible responses, but I wanted to do a bit of a controlled practice with it. I created two different sets of slides: one for the interviewer, and one for the person interviewing for the internship. For the interviewer, I simply put an interview question on each slide. For the person interviewing for the position, I made a bullet list of things that may or may not be relevant in answering that question. I wanted them to think about what is important to share and what should be left out. I then had them spread out around the room. I gave the question slides broadcast link to the interviewers and the broadcast link to the bullet points to the person interviewing for the position. They started once I moved the slides to the first situation and they needed to continue talking about it until I switched things. That meant the interviewer also needed to ask additional information based on what they had heard. I did that for the first half of the slides and then I had them switch roles.

Setting up an Account

Here is how to create an account with Zoho:

Go to and click on Create Presentation

Put in your email address, check the Terms of Service box, and then click on Launch Show.

Go to your email and find the email from Zoho. Click on Confirm your account.

Type in a password and then do it again before clicking on Update. You will now be taken to the main page of Zoho Show.

Broadcasting Slides

Once you are logged in, you will be taken to the dashboard. You can either upload a PowerPoint presentation or you can create your own. To create your own, click on Create Presentation.

Enter in a title at the top, choose a theme and color scheme and then click on Apply.

Here is where you can create your presentation. A tip for broadcasting to mobile devices, make sure the text is really large for them to see on the small screen.

Once you are ready to go, click on SHARE at the top of the screen and then click on Broadcast.

Copy the Broadcast URL and share that with students. I create a QR code using Qrickit to make it easier for them to scan and go. Once you are ready to broadcast the slides, click on Start Broadcast.

This is the presenter view of the slides.

This is what viewers will see. Notice that they can’t see the slides coming up and they can’t advance them.

When you are done, click on STOP BROADCAST and then click on Allow if you want the students to be able to download the slides. Click on Cancel if you don’t want to share the slides.

If you allow them to download the slides, this is what the viewers will see. They can download the slides as a PDF or as a presentation file.

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