How To: Zoom Settings for Educators

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

This guide addresses what settings you want to have active or inactive to support student-centered learning in your live (synchronous) Zoom meetings.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.

  2. Click Settings on the right side of your screen.

Note: Settings are tiered and can be turned on/off or locked by your admin if you are using a school Zoom account. If a setting is locked at the account or group level, an account admin or owner will need to change it.

There are three tabs that host your settings - Meeting, Recording, Telephone. We'll highlight only the settings that you should pay close attention to with why this setting is important for your student-centered live lessons. Here's a downloadable cheat sheet of these by grade bands.


Meeting tab

Security

  • Waiting room: TOGGLE ON (Let students in the zoom call when you are ready. Open all of your appropriate windows and have any links ready before you share your screen and let students in!)

  1. Click Edit Options to select Everyone: All participants joining your meeting will be admitted to the Waiting Room.

  2. Click Customize Waiting Room, then click the pencil for each of the below to make your waiting room more informative and/or fun for your students and their caretakers!

  • Title: As these are limited to 64 characters but are the largest display inside of a waiting room, make it a check that they are in the right place.

  • Logo: This is a great place to upload your pic or school logo so your students know they are in the right place! This can even be a GIF!

  • Description: This can be a longer message (up to 400 characters), so remind your students of the expectations, a note of positivity, a quote, or instructions for what they should have prepared for the meeting.


Schedule Meeting

  • Host video: TOGGLE OFF (This is a great way to push the onus of learning onto students from the start. When they enter the meeting, share your screen that outlines what they should have prepared or with a question of the day. Student-centeredness means they aren't always waiting for you to "start" working on something.)

  • Participants video: TOGGLE ON (See who's ready to go and whether or not they are looking at the screen)

  • Audio Type > Telephone and Computer Audio: TOGGLE ON (This allows students to join by telephone just in case computer mics/speakers fail.)

  • Join before host: TOGGLE OFF (With this setting checked, you are never surprised to see a student in the meeting before you log in and are ready to host students.)


In Meeting (Basic)

  • Private chat: TOGGLE OFF (Disabling this ensures that individual students are not having unseen conversations that may be inappropriate.)

  • Auto saving chats: TOGGLE ON (This feature can help you see what happened in the chat in hindsight so you can review who was participating and how.)

  • Sound notification when someone join or leave: TOGGLE ON

  • Play sound for: Host and co-hosts (This allows you to note when someone new has joined without distracting students.)

  • When someone joins by phone: Ask to record their voice to use as the notification.

  • File transfer: TOGGLE ON (This allows you to share files in the chat.)

  • Feedback to Zoom: TOGGLE OFF (Protect your students from getting distracted by another window/task when they log off of Zoom.)

  • Display end-of-meeting experience feedback survey: TOGGLE OFF(Protect your students from getting distracted by another window/task when they log off of Zoom.)

  • Co-host: TOGGLE ON (This allows your co-teacher or assistant to move around in breakout rooms and manage students from the participants tab. You can assign meeting participants as the co-host from within the meeting's participant tab by hovering over their name and clicking the three dots.)

  • Polling: TOGGLE ON (Using the polling feature gives you immediate access to student responses within Zoom so they don't have to click elsewhere. You can also show them the results when you end the poll!)

  • Show Zoom windows during screen share: TOGGLE OFF (Take this off so students don't see all of the behind the scenes of Zoom when you screen share. Keep it clean and simple for them.)

  • Screen sharing: TOGGLE ON (This allows students to share their screen in breakout rooms so they can work together more easily.)

  • Disable desktop/screen share for users: TOGGLE ON (This allows students to share their screen in breakout rooms so they can work together more easily.)

  • Annotation: TOGGLE ON (This allows students to draw on your screen to interact with it and see each other's interactions. If you find that students use this inappropriately during a meeting, you can disable this from within the meeting.)

  • Whiteboard: TOGGLE ON (This allows students to draw on your screen to interact with it and see each other's interactions. If you find that students use this inappropriately during a meeting, you can disable this from within the meeting.)