Is Zoom free? The quick answer to this is, Yes. But the free version has some limitations. Before we explore those, lets first look into how Zoom is now suddenly being used everywhere.
You must be familiar with the Zoom app by now. It is being used by families, teachers, and students to keep in touch with each other since the start of the pandemic.
To help students use Zoom I have created a free printable zoom instruction for students. This is particularly useful for younger children who might need some guidance with online learning.
Let’s first go through what the Zoom app is? is Zoom free? and how to keep students safe on Zoom
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The Telegraph reported 60 children who were taking part in an online zoom fitness class were exposed to child sexual images.
Their online class was hacked and the police believed the hacker had sent those images when the class was going on. Police are still trying to locate the hacker.
The app is free to use for up to 40 minutes.
100 attendees can join in one chat room using the free account.
Zoom free version gives unlimited 1 to 1 meeting
Students will not need a Zoom account to join a meeting. Teachers who will be hosting the meeting will need to create an account.
Students can join a meeting using the Zoom mobile app or using their desktop.
Don’t forget to get this free copy
Your student can switch off the camera if they do not want to show their face.
As the host you can choose to not show your face by right-clicking on your video then choose “Hide Myself”.
However, if you are the teacher then it is highly recommended to show your face to keep students engaged in the discussion.
The free account allows up to 100 students to join. You can have an unlimited number of meetings.
If you are running multiple classes at the same time then you may need to upgrade the account.
So back to answer your question, is Zoom free? It is free only for 100 people in one chat room and you are limited to just one video chat at a time.
Share the printable guide below with parents and students so they know how to log in, and also learn about the different features of Zoom.
Feel free to download the pdf file and email it to your students and parents.
Zoom soared in usage since the start of the pandemic. The free zoom app is easy to use which makes it appealing for educators.
However, Zoom has also been criticized for certain privacy issues.
Here are some criticism faced by Zoom :
“Zoombombing, for one, has taken advantage of Zoom’s system of randomly generated ID access codes and lack of required passwords to join a call. People drop into Zoom calls that aren’t their own and broadcast offensive material, like pornography. One automated tool developed by security researchers can find around 100 Zoom meeting IDs in an hour and information for nearly 2,400 Zoom meetings in a single day of scans, just as an example of how easy it can be to find meetings to join.” The Verge
“Company Directory” setting that could leak user emails and photos, and Zoom confirmed to The Intercept that video calls on the app aren’t end-to-end encrypted like the company claims. The company has since announced a 90-day freeze on releasing new features and will focus on fixing privacy and security issues, it says.” The Verge
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1. Zoom privacy settings
Share Zoom meeting ID privately. Do not post a meeting ID on social media.
You should also Disable join before host.
Students cannot join the class before the teacher joins and will see a pop-up that says, “The meeting is waiting for the host to join.“
Zoom recommends that you Use a random meeting ID: A random meeting ID makes it less appealing to be shared multiple times.
Don’t forget to Password-protect the classroom: Create a password and share it with your students via school email so only those intended to join can access a virtual classroom.
3. Lock virtual classroom.
Lock the classroom once lessons have started. Hence, students that are late or anyone else cannot join the session.
It’s like closing your classroom door once classes have started. This will encourage students to remain discipline even when learning online
To do this : In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.
psst, don’t forget to :Download the THE GROWTH MINDSET KIT helping children to stay calm, confident and grounded even when growing up around social media.
4. Temporarily lock chat
To avoid distractions during classes you can temporarily lock chats so students cannot private message other students.
Zoom recommends that you control chat access in the in-meeting toolbar rather than closing it altogether. This way students can still ask teachers questions.
5. Remove distracted students
If a student is being distractive then you can remove them from the lesson.
To do this : Hover on their name, click Remove option.
Zoom is a great app to use for teachers to keep in touch with students during this pandemic. However, teachers can take the extra step to make Zoom safer for students.
Parents don’t forget to use the guided printables to help your children navigate through zoom. And yes Zoom is free to use. So use it to keep in touch with family members and friends too.
Don’t forget to download the smartphone self-evaluation toolkit for your kids