Zoom Cloud-based Videoconferencing System
Recently, an agreement between the K-20 Education Network and Zoom Video Communications was signed to provide a cloud-based videoconferencing service to K-20 customers. The goal of this agreement is to provide Zoom as an alternate and/or supplemental videoconferencing tool that allows users to engage in interactive video and audio conferencing and collaboration on a variety of desktops and mobile platforms, at no additional cost to districts on the K-20 Network. The current K-20 videoconferencing and KORRS scheduling system will be continued for the foreseeable future as well. The use of the Zoom cloud-based videoconferencing service by districts is entirely optional, but we highly recommend it for curricular activities and administrative purposes!
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a desktop and mobile device-based videoconferencing solution that includes interactive video, audio, screen sharing, chat and local recording features. Zoom works on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, iOS and Android devices. While Zoom is intended to be used on a single device, it can be transformed into a group/classroom system with the additional use of a projector, group microphone, speakers and camera.
What can you do with Zoom?
- Engage in an interactive high-definition (HD) video/audio conference with up to 50 other sites
- Pre-schedule sessions (including a calendar invitation) or launch them on the fly
- Share desktops, documents and web sites during the videoconference. Even share videos!
- Create breakout sessions that allow attendees to work, learn and collaborate in small groups during the meeting
- Draw directly on the shared screen so that notations are visible to all attendees
- Record your meetings/class sessions for others to watch at a later time
- Send text and voice messages, files or images with groups or individuals
Benefits of This New Agreement:
- Supports 21st century classrooms where students can interact live with other students and experts at remote locations
- Reduces travel expenditures by allowing administrators to connect to meetings remotely
- Opens new possibilities for educators to participate in (and deliver!) professional development
- Utilizes current technology (desktops, tablets); no special or proprietary hardware is required.
- Works on all platforms (Windows, Mac, Chrome, Linux) with mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry
- Allows interactive sessions to be recorded for viewing at a later time
- Operates in parallel with the existing K-20 MCUs
- Only the meeting initiator needs a Zoom license, who can then invite other attendees with an auto-generated e-mail message that contains an embedded link to the meeting/session
- Provided to K-20 member institutions at no additional cost
Follow these steps to activate Zoom in your district:
- Identify one person in your district to be the Zoom administrator. Suggestions include your IT Director (or their designee), your director of instructional technology, or a technology coach. This person should be comfortable with technology, and experienced with basic account administration and support.
- Send the name and e-mail address of your district’s designated Zoom account administrator to Dennis Small.
- Your district Zoom administrator can then set up accounts for other district users.