Welcome to our guide for getting started with Zoom for remote instruction! In the series of articles linked below, we'll show you how to set up your Zoom account to best prepare to provide remote instruction for your students. Zoom is an excellent video conferencing tool that can also be used to pre-record lectures for students (or record them as you're giving them live). We'll also walk you through some easy ways to integrate Zoom with Google Classroom and your Google Classroom calendar to schedule your virtual classes.

So...Why are we using Zoom?

There are a number of video conferencing platforms available. In fact, all MCS faculty and staff already have two platforms available: Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. We've chosen Zoom primarily because Zoom offers the best control over student microphones. We believe that this is critical for teachers to be able to use Zoom effectively in the classroom; they need to be able to control background noise from student microphones, and allow specific students to speak at specific times. Other platforms simply don't provide the level of control that Zoom affords. Therefore, we believe Zoom to be the best option for our students and teachers.

Important Note: We are currently using the free version of Zoom. This means that, if you are hosting a Zoom meeting with more than one other person (i.e., multiple students), your meeting will automatically stop after 40 minutes. In response to COVID-19, Zoom is offering to lift this restriction for free accounts. For this restriction to be lifted, MCS must be manually approved as an educational institution by Zoom. We are currently waiting for this approval. So, in the meantime, we will be subject to the 40-minute meeting limit.

We've created a step-by-step series of articles to help you get set up. Get started using the link below, or use the table of contents to jump to a specific article.

Some thoughts for you before you get started learning Zoom...

  • Online teaching is completely new for us as a school. Expect to experience frustration. Expect to feel overwhelmed by all of the new tools you need to learn. We are not alone...10s of thousands of K-12 schools across the country are experiencing these same things. It will take time to learn how to be effective 
  • Expect that things won't go well the first time you attempt live online teaching. In fact, they might not go well the first few times. Don't be discouraged--this is new for you, and for your students. Plan time to simply learn how to connect and communicate using these new tools. Expect that you may not get much instruction done during your first few live virtual classes together.
  • Ask your students to be patient with you, and accept their feedback and ideas if they have suggestions for you. Be willing to accept their help too!
  • Share your ideas, successes, and failures with other teachers. Help those who are struggling, and if you are struggling be willing to accept help from others! 🙂

Next: Create Your Zoom Account >>

Table of Contents

  1. Start Here - Zoom (this article 🙂)
  2. Create Your Zoom Account
  3. Configure Zoom Settings
  4. Sign in to the Zoom App
  5. Share a Zoom Meeting Link
  6. Recording Lectures with Zoom
  7. Learning to Use Zoom as your Virtual Classroom