Zoom Video Conferencing Best Practices

UPDATED: 09/11/2020

As the use of Zoom has exploded in ICCSD and around the country, here are some best practices to implement in order to ensure that your Zoom meetings run effectively and securely.  

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Zoom alternative, you should check out Canvas Video Conferencing or Google Meet.  

1. Do not post Zoom links publicly

Share Zoom meeting URLs by email, Canvas site, shared document, or another form of direct or secured communication.  

2. Create meeting-specific URLs, rather than using your personal meeting room

If you use your personal meeting room, you run a greater risk of the URL being exposed than when using a one-time or meeting-specific URL.  

3. Ensure that you (and your students) are using an ICCSD Zoom account

  • To log in, visit Zoom’s Sign-In page and click “Sign in with Google”
  • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 

4. Consider using secure options for your meetings

These options include: 

  • Add a passcode to your meeting
  • Require all students to use their full name when joining class.  
  • Enable your meeting waiting room to approve attendees. Only allow students to join who are using their full (first and last) name. 
  • Control or disable in-meeting chats, if the chat feature isn’t required for a meeting
  • If your meeting includes only ICCSD individuals, you can check “Only authenticated users can join meetings”.  Note that students and staff would need to log in to Zoom rather than joining as a guest; all ICCSD users can log in using Zoom’s “Log In with Google” option.  
    • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 
  • If you are sharing your screen, you can lock annotation by clicking the “…More” button in the main toolbar, then choosing “Disable Attendee Annotation”
  • Lock your meeting after all expected attendees have joined.  You can do this by clicking the “Participants” button, then clicking “…More” toward the bottom of the participants panel and selecting “Lock Meeting”.  

 

ICCSD Providing Home Computer and Internet Access During COVID-19 Closure

It is important that students and families are able to gain access to educational, news, and communication resources during this challenging time.  To this end, Iowa City CSD’s Technology & Innovation staff are preparing to make Chromebooks available to elementary school students who do not have access to computers within the home.  Families of elementary students that do not have access to a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet in the home may complete this request form or call (319) 688-1950, after which you will be contacted with instructions for picking up the device.  We do ask that requests be made by families who lack computing resources at home, as we wish to ensure that devices are available to all families in need of service. 

While secondary students have been assigned a Chromebook from their school as part of the secondary one-to-one Chromebook program, we recognize that some students may have left their school-issued Chromebook at school prior to leaving for Spring Break.  If a secondary student’s Chromebook is still at school at this time, please contact the ICCSD Technology Helpdesk at helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950.  

We have also worked with telecommunications providers to identify opportunities to provide for internet access to District families with no existing internet service. If your family does not have internet service at home, please fill out this form or call (319) 688-1950 to arrange for district-provided internet access.  Once your form has been submitted, we will contact the telecommunications provider and assist in arranging for the establishment of service during the COVID-19 related school closure.  Again, we ask that requests only be submitted in cases where home internet is currently unavailable, as we want to ensure that resources are available for all families in need of service.  The ICCSD Technology Helpdesk is expected to remain open throughout the school closure, and will be available to support use of district-provided technology beginning Tuesday, March 24. You can contact the Helpdesk by emailing helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, using the chat option available in the bottom right corner of innovation.iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950. 

CANVAS IN EDU: EPISODE 05

Episode 05: Personalization for Students

🔀 Strand: Differentiation 🔀

We facilitate learning for a wide range of learners. Canvas has built-in features that allow us to personalize the content to better meet the diverse needs of the learners we support.

👀 Check it out below 👇

Missed a previous episode? Check them all out here.

Let’s Collaborate

If you are looking to partner with an IDS: Innovation team member and explore how you might implement the strategy from Episode 03 or collaborate on additional ways to enhance instruction with Canvas, please contact Andrew Fenstermaker at fenstermaker.andrew@iowacityschools.org or use the form below.

Are my teachers spying on me?

Answer: Only the good ones are.  But don’t worry, we’re only talking about making good use of our classroom student data.  Part of effective teaching is having an adaptive classroom that adjusts to meet students where they are at in order to maximize the time they spend in the zone of proximal development. But as anyone who has spent time as a classroom teacher knows, finding the time to really dig into the data can seem daunting, if not impossible.

Fortunately, Canvas provides some built in options for a mid to high level view of classroom data in real time. This won’t be a replacement for analysis of individual student responses on formative assessments. But it can be used to identify patterns in student performance over time. Continue reading Are my teachers spying on me?

CANVAS IN EDU: EPISODE 04

Episode 04: Top 5 Tips

📂 Strand: Organization 📂

A quick Google Search for Canvas tips results in an overwhelming number of posts. In exploring these posts, I have narrowed them down into My Top 5 for Canvas Organization.

👀 Check it out below 👇

Missed a previous episode? Check them all out here.

Let’s Collaborate

If you are looking to partner with an IDS: Innovation team member and explore how you might implement the strategy from Episode 03 or collaborate on additional ways to enhance instruction with Canvas, please contact Andrew Fenstermaker at fenstermaker.andrew@iowacityschools.org or use the form below.