Zoom for Online Learning Updates: Expanded Access for Schools
This post has been updated to reflect new Zoom offerings and resources for educators in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Waiting Room on by default: Starting today, the Waiting Room feature will be automatically turned on by default. This security feature is one of the best ways to control who’s entering your Zoom virtual classroom by giving you the option to admit participants individually or all at once. Visit our support page for more information on adjusting your Waiting Room settings, or check out our blog on best practices for securing your virtual classroom.
Zoom has lifted the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for K-12 schools in Australia, India, and New Zealand. Request to have the limit lifted for your school here.
We’ve also put together this security resource for educators teaching over Zoom – Blog: Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom.
We’ve lifted the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for K-12 schools in Israel. You can request to have the limit lifted for your school here.
We’re also lifting the minutes limit for K-12 schools in Hong Kong SAR. Hong Kong SAR schools must request access using this e-learning support website only.
Zoom has lifted the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for K-12 schools in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Request to have the minutes limit lifted for your school here.
Resources for parents
Some programs that can help keep your at-home kids learning in a structured environment:
- California State Parks PORTS Program: The Home Learning Program offers virtual field trips four times a week!
- Khan Academy: Live online classes on a variety of subjects for ages 4-18
- National WWII Museum: Online teaching resources and distance learning archive
- Outschool: Live online classes on a variety of subjects for ages 3-18
We’ve also lifted the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for K-12 schools in the United Arab Emirates. Request to have the minutes limit lifted for your school here.
[Updated at 4:00 p.m. PT]
We’ve proactively lifted the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for schools in Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland. You can request to have the minutes limit lifted for your school here.
As of this morning, we have two new offers for schools:
1. Zoom is proactively lifting the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for nearly 60,000 K-12 schools in the U.S.
If your school has already been pre-approved and your Zoom Basic account is linked to your school email address, you’ll get a notification the next time you log into Zoom. If you did not receive a notification, you can request to have the time limit lifted for your school here.
2. We’ve partnered with Clever to make Zoom accessible to the 8,000 Clever districts who may be experiencing school closures.
Clever is the most widely used single sign-on portal in K–12 districts, making it easy for schools to roll out Zoom quickly. Zoom accounts set up through Clever will include:
- Unlimited teacher accounts
- No time limit on virtual class sessions
- Single sign-on via the Clever Portal
- Support for PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, iPads, Android phones & iPhones
Zoom is making all of these features available at no charge through July 1, 2020, for Clever districts.
Here are some additional online resources for educators:
- Outschool, a marketplace for live online classes, has made available Free Remote Teacher Training Webinars demonstrating how to get started teaching online in a live video chat classroom for learners ages 3 to 18. These webinars are led by Outschool’s experienced K-12 teachers who have transitioned from in-person to online teaching. Educators can sign up and find available times/dates here.
- Instructional platform Nearpod is temporarily offering free online learning access to schools impacted by closures. Access includes live weekly webinars, a guide to using Nearpod for distance learning, and lessons on the coronavirus to keep students, teachers, and parents informed.
Zoom is temporarily lifting the 40-minute meeting limit on free Basic accounts for seven additional countries during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, K-12 schools in the following countries can request the 40-minute time limit be lifted for free Basic Zoom accounts:
- South Korea
Schools in these countries can request the limit removal by having a member of your school fill out this form using a school email address.
Zoom has already removed the 40-minute limit on free Basic accounts for schools in Japan and Italy, and have lifted the limit by request for K-12 schools in the United States.
Here are some additional online resources to help you most effectively use Zoom for virtual education:
- Live Zoom training daily: These include sessions specifically highlighting Zoom Meetings for Education (Students & Educators), focusing on using Zoom Meetings as your classroom setting. Zoom Webinar training is also available.
- Recorded Zoom training: Watch previously recorded sessions on demand and at your convenience. Several are in German, Japanese, and Korean, in addition to English.
- Tips for instructors: Check out this Twitter thread from USC Ph.D. student and online instructor Alana Kennedy on some of the most useful features and best practices for teaching over Zoom.
Zoom has a wealth of experience helping educational institutions optimize the Zoom platform for virtual classrooms and online learning. It’s our goal to make Zoom easy to use and accessible for everyone, and we’re committed to streamlining the experience for our educational users amid the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Zoom’s teams are working to provide teachers, administrators, and students around the world with the resources they need to quickly spin up virtual classrooms, participate in online classes, and continue their studies online. It’s our intention that everyone, from seasoned Zoom users to those who’ve never interacted with our product, can easily download the client, start and schedule meetings, set students up with Zoom, and start using Zoom for virtual instruction with ease.
This post is designed to help our education users:
- Sign up for a Zoom account
- Pick the best account option
- Understand best practices for using Zoom in education
Help for schools
To ensure all of our K-12 districts and other institutions can most effectively leverage Zoom for virtual education during this time, Zoom is:
- Temporarily removing the 40-minute limit on free Basic accounts for schools in Japan and Italy, and by request for K-12 schools in the United States
- Providing multi-language resources specifically designed for principals, vice principals, teachers, students, and parents to set up and use Zoom
- Expanding live trainings, webinars, and recorded offerings to share best practices for using the platform
How to enable your free Zoom account
To have the 40-minute time limit temporarily removed for your organization’s free Basic accounts:
- Have your administrators, staff, and teachers sign up for a free Zoom account.
- Have a member of your school fill out this form to request the temporary removal.
- Upon verification, all free Basic accounts using your school’s email domain will have the time restriction lifted.
Now teachers will be able to log in, schedule their classes, and send out invites to students. Students are not required to have a Zoom account and can join classes using the links sent from the teacher. For the best experience, we do recommend every user download the Zoom application on their preferred Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, or Android device.
We have numerous short videos on support.zoom.us to help you get started.
Zoom account features & benefits
Zoom offers robust collaboration and engagement tools as part of its standard free license, including the ability to connect using VoIP or via traditional phone when internet is not available. Administrators, teachers, parents, and students also have access to:
- Unlimited meetings for up to 100 participants
- HD audio and video
- Screen sharing
- Breakout Rooms
- Virtual backgrounds
- In-meeting chat
- Local recording
- Nonverbal feedback
For organizations requiring a more robust feature set and administrative control, Zoom’s Education plan provides the above capabilities and more at a low cost, including:
- Unlimited meetings for up to to 300 participants
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- LTI integration to support most LMS platforms
- Enhanced user management to add, delete, and assign add-on features
- Advanced admin controls for enabling/disabling recording, chat, and notifications
- 500 MB of cloud recording
- Cloud recording transcription
- Usage reports to track participation
Need help deciding whether a Basic or Education plan is right for you? Connect with a Zoom education specialist for assistance.
Resources for Zoom’s education users
Here are some guides to help school administrators, staff, teachers, students, and parents leverage Zoom for virtual learning:
- Comprehensive Guide to Educating Through Zoom
- Tips and Tricks for Teachers Educating on Zoom
- Tips and Tricks for Administrators and Staff
- Student Tips for Participating in Online Learning
- Education Guide to Getting Started on Zoom
- School Administrator’s Guide to Rolling Out Zoom
We’re also providing multi-language resources specifically designed for principals, vice principals, teachers, students, and parents to set up and use Zoom.
Zoom is also proactively monitoring our global infrastructure to ensure reliability and uptime for your online learning programs. Our proven infrastructure regularly supports over 8 billion meeting minutes a month, and we are confident that our architecture can handle spiking levels of activity and support educational institutions around the world during this time.
If you have issues accessing your unlimited Basic account or questions about using the Zoom platform, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update May 12, 2020: We have adjusted Hong Kong’s designation to “Hong Kong SAR” in this blog post to align with the naming convention adopted by many of our tech industry peers.