Zoom Best Practices

  • Security options for hosting classes through Zoom

    1. Use a random meeting ID: It is best practice to generate a random meeting ID for your class, so it can’t be shared multiple times. This is the better alternative to using your Personal Meeting ID, which is not advised because it’s basically an ongoing meeting that’s always running.
    2. Protect the classroom: Create a passcode and share with your students via school email so only those intended to join can access a virtual classroom.
    3. Waiting room: Students cannot join class before the teacher joins and will see a pop-up that says, “The meeting is waiting forthe host to join." This settings is enabled by default and users cannot change it.
    4. Manage annotation: Teachers should disable participant annotation in the screen sharing controls to prevent students fromannotating on a shared screen and disrupting class.
    5. Disable video: Turn off a student’s video to block distracting content or inappropriate gestures, while class is in session.
    6. Mute students: Mute/unmute individual students or all of them at once. Mute Upon Entry (in your settings) is also available to keep the clamor at bay when everyone files in.
    7. Attendee on-hold: An alternative to removing a user, you can disable their audio/video connections. Click on the attendee’s video thumbnail and select Start Attendee On-Hold to activate. You can also place them back in the waiting room for disciplinary reasons.


    All teachers, IAs, All teachers, IAs, principals at all levels and selected administrative staff are assigned an EDU license, all otherstaff are assigned a basic license, unless requested by an administrator.

    What is the difference between an EDU license and a basic license?

    Basic: A basic user is a user without a paid license. Basic users can be on Basic (free) plans, as well as paid plans such as Pro or Business. A basic user on a Basic plan can host meetings with up to 100 participants. A basic user on the CCS paid account inherits the account's default meeting capacity, such as a Business account's default meeting capacity of 300. If 3 or more participants join, the meeting will time out after 40 minutes. They cannot utilize user and account add-ons such as large meeting, webinar, or conference room connector.

    Licensed: A licensed user is a paid account user who can host unlimited meetings on the public cloud. Bydefault, they can host meetings with up to 300 participants. Licensed users have these additional features available:

    • Record to the Zoom cloud
    • Customize Personal Meeting ID
    • Polling
    • Annotation feature
    • Breakout room feature
    • Be an alternative host
    • Assign others to schedule and schedule on behalf of
    • Utilize account add-ons such as conference room connector
    • Be assigned user add-ons such as large meeting, webinar, or personal audio conference
    • Customize Personal Link, if on a business or education account

    To learn more about Zoom safety and about locking down a classroom, controlling screen sharing, the waiting room, locking down chat, removing a student, and other security options, including why pictures of virtual classes should not be posted on social media click: Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Meeting.

    Setting up a Zoom meeting for teachers as the host

    1. Go to https://ccsoh-us.zoom.us/
    2. Sign in to access your account. Be sure to use your @columbus.k12.oh.us email address.
    3. To schedule a class, select “SCHEDULE A MEETING” (top right) --> Set scheduling options --> Set Meeting ID to “Generate Automatically." You can set “Mute participants upon entry” if desired.
    4. Copy the Zoom Meeting URL, Password and/or Meeting ID and share this with your students in your Google Classroom or preferred method of communication. Be sure to list some of your expectations of students when they are in a Zoom meeting, such as: students should remain muted until the teacher calls on you; be aware that when your camera is on the whole class can see you, behave appropriately; be polite and respectful of others when they are talking.
    5. You can also schedule meetings and send the meeting information to students.
    6. Please read and review all the security settings for your user profile before starting a meeting.


    In your meeting setting you can enable the co-host feature:

    1. Navigate to the Co-host option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
    2. Any participant can be designated as a co-host.
    3. If the setting is disabled, click the Status toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
    4. Once the meeting has started go to participants and designate a co-host.

    Alternative host

    When scheduling a meeting, the host can designate another user with an EDU license on the same accountto be the alternative host. The alternative host can start the meeting on the host's behalf.

    Options during a Zoom meeting

    Zoom toolbarA. The host can mute/unmute their own microphone.
    B. The host can start/stop their video.
    C. The host can change meeting settings.
    D. View the current participants in the meeting and invite others.
    E. Send individual or group messages.
    F. Share your screen or allow participants to share their screen.
    G. This allows you to record your meeting. Cloud recording space is limited, and recordings will be eventually auto deleted. If possible, please store recordings on your computer to ensure you can access them in the future.
    H. Allows participation for the hearing impaired.
    I. Allows you to split the meeting up into separate smaller rooms.

    Important: When you are ready to end the meeting, press the "End Meeting" button. Be sure to END MEETING FOR ALL, otherwise students will be able to converse unsupervised.

    How students should access Zoom

    Students should be joining meetings as a guest; they are not able to log into the district’s zoom account andwill receive an error. Zoom requires users to be at least 16 years of age and recommends that students join as guests for K-12 education.

    Logging into your district account from the Zoom App/mobile device.

    1. The Zoom app needs to be downloaded and installed on your device first.
    2. If you have already signed into the Zoom app with a free/non-district account, you will need to sign out first.
    3. At the Sign In screen make sure to select the SSO login.
    4. You will be prompted to enter your company domain, enter: ccsoh-us
    5. You will then be able to sign in with your district email address and password.

    Chromebook Restrictions

    1. Joining a meeting from a Chromebook -- unable to use annotate feature
    2. Starting a meeting from a Chromebook -- no polling, no annotation feature, no breakout room feature, no virtual background

    How do I transfer from my free license to the district license?

    If you registered a free basic personal account with Zoom using you district owned email address, you will be prompted to convert your account after logging in here: https://ccsoh-us.zoom.us. You will be sent an email message that needs to be confirmed. You will then be able to access your district Zoom license.

    More questions? 

    More questions and answers can be found by clicking the link here. The support resource includes videos,live training, webinars and recorded training sessions. If you require additional assistance, please contact the helpdesk at 614.365.8425 or send an email to: ccszoomsupport@columbus.k12.oh.us.