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Zoom tips to secure virtual classroom for teachers, students

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By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: August 26, 2020 4:36:12 pm


Tips to secure Zoom virtual classroom (Image: Zoom)

Schools worldwide are using Zoom as a platform to connect students and teachers amid the pandemic that has shut down schools and all other educational institutions. Video conferencing platform Zoom has played a major role in bridging the gap between educators and learners. In the past, we have witnessed a few incidents wherein hackers have sneaked into a zoom conference call, to avoid such a situation in a classroom situation here are some settings that you should change to secure the meeting. Zoom already offers several security features and plans to bring some more.

Zoom features to ensure a secure virtual classroom

* Restricting annotation is a good idea. This can prevent students from annotating on shared content or show the names of individuals annotating.

* Disable “Join before host” option so that students can’t join a meeting before you start the meeting.

* Set a meeting passcode for students to join in.

* Change setting so only authenticated users can join the virtual classroom. With these settings turned on students will be required to sign into their Zoom account with their school’s domain name.

* Disable screen sharing for users.

* Locking the virtual classroom once it begins so no one else can enter.

* Ensure all new participants joining the meeting should enter the Waiting Room first where the host can admit them on an individual basis.

* Enable or disable participants from sharing their screens.

* Disable the chat feature to prevent students from chatting with each other.

* Prevent participants from renaming or unmuting themselves during the class.

* Disable video for individual participants and mute everyone in the meeting.

Note: Never share Zoom classroom details like meeting ID and password with anyone. If the host feels a student or someone else has revealed the meeting ID with someone ensure to change the meeting ID before the next class.

Upcoming Zoom features for better classroom experience

Zoom will soon bring new features like a virtual classroom seating arrangement, spotlight a group of presenting students, and more to secure virtual classroom. Soon the host of the meeting will be able to drag and drop participants in Gallery View into whatever order they choose. This feature will lock the gallery into a fixed configuration that won’t shift when a new person speaks or enters the room. Zoom clarifies that in a future update teachers will be able to save their custom gallery layout as a virtual seating chart. Additionally, a multi-pinning option will also arrive to enable any user to “pin” up to nine other participants on-screen in their custom personal view.

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Soon teachers will be able to spotlight up to nine participants for the entire meeting, creating a custom, focused group view that is visible to the entire class. This will allow a group of students to present to the class together.

In September, students will get the ability to select a breakout room and move between rooms. You will also be able to create themed breakout rooms or reading groups and invite students to move between them based on their interests in topics. Additionally, Zoom will bring “Original Sound” mode that will allow you to disable echo cancellation and post-processing and get rid of compression. Zoom claims that this setting will also raise audio codec quality from 22kHz to 48kHz, 96Kbps mono/192Kbps stereo for professional audio transmission in music education and performance applications.

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