Zoom Video Conferencing Tool
A critical piece of K-12 education is the personal connection between the teacher and student, and implementing a video conference tool helps maintain this connection during this time of distance learning. One of the new technologies we are implementing to support the ability to maintain personal connections is Zoom.
The Ministry of Education published a news release on Wednesday, April 1 that it had secured and funded licences for this video conferencing application for all K-12 public schools. This will allow educators to use a common and consistent platform to connect and communicate with students, staff and parents. This is now an option for our staff to use, if they choose. Here is a link to the announcement: Zoom collaboration tool now available for K-12 continuous learning.
The District strategically decided to wait until this provincial licence was in place before proceeding with the use and implementation of Zoom. The main reason for this is the enhanced security features that are included in the education licence for this application. It has already been confirmed that this software complies with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and all data is stored within Canadian-based servers.
The District Technology Team has locked many settings in order to strengthen the privacy and security of this tool. These settings require users to have a password in order to enter into a meeting space, require the teacher/host to accept students into the meeting from a waiting room, and limit the feature of screen sharing only to the teacher/host of the meeting.
We are mindful that students and staff have a range of comfort with participating in a video conference meeting from their homes. We also understand that students’ have varying levels of access to technology and that it may not be possible for students to always be available to join a call.
Teachers have been provided with guidelines for best practices for hosting video conference meetings, and below are some guidelines that we expect all students to adhere to as they participate in these calls.
Video Conference Guidelines for Students/Parents:
- Video conference meetings will be scheduled with students during regular school hours. Parents will be made aware of any plans for video conferencing with their child(ren).
- Students should never share a Teachers Zoom ID or Meeting ID with anyone else, or the password associated with joining the meeting.
- Students are not required to create a Zoom account, and it is recommended that students do not sign up. Teachers will send students a meeting link, and once clicked, they will have a choice of either downloading the application or joining through a web browser. Either option does not require the student to create an account.
- To join the meeting, the student will be asked to enter the Meeting ID and enter their full name (First and Last).
- All students will enter a private individual waiting room. Only students who have entered their full name will be accepted into the meeting room.
- Students will have the ability to turn their video camera and microphone on or off.We are sensitive to varying comfort levels of students and parents.
- We are asking teachers to carefully consider the impact of recording any of the video conference meetings. If a record is necessary, all student video cameras must be turned off (maybe a teacher is recording a lesson that they are delivering for students who can’t join the scheduled video conference).
- At no time should students and staff take a screen shot of the video conference screen and no images/videos should be posted on any public space or social media platforms.
- Students are expected to maintain the same behavior and conduct during a video conference call as they would during an in-person class. This is an extension of the regular classroom and all school rules still apply.
Quality Video Conferencing Tips:
- Consider the environment that you are sitting in.Try to limit any background distractions and ensure that you are in a common area of your house (no bedroom furniture in background, etc).
- Remember that if your camera is turned on, everyone can see you.
- Keep the source of lighting in front or above you.Avoid having a bright light or window behind you.
- Make use of the side chat bar during a meeting to ask questions or add comments.The host is responsible for moderating this chat space.
- All questions and comments should be related to the learning expectations or core purpose of the call.
- Progress slowly. Everyone is learning (including the adults) and it will take some time for participants to adjust.
- Be patient and forgiving with technology.It can be temperamental, glitchy and sometimes difficult to navigate so pause, breathe and keep this in perspective.
Please see below for the following attachments that may be helpful to you:
- Instructions on how to join a Zoom Meeting
- Zoom Etiquette