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Zoom is Now Free for K-12 Schools! What You and Your Students Need to Know

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Author: Mike Walsh | CEO
Zoom is Now Free for K-12 Schools! What You and Your Students Need to Know

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, educators and students around the world are receiving a crash course in adapting to online distance learning. With so many videoconferencing platforms available, it can be difficult to decide which one makes the most sense.

Zoom has been embraced by schools nationwide for enhancing live, online teaching and encouraging student engagement. In response to this crisis, Zoom is lifting the meeting time restriction on free accounts. This enables robust collaboration and engagement tools for any school or district K-12.

Administrators, teachers, parents and students have access to:

  • Unlimited meetings for up to 100 participants
  • HD audio and video
  • Screen sharing
  • Whiteboarding
  • Annotation
  • Breakout rooms
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • In-meeting chat
  • Local recording
  • Nonverbal feedback

Here’s how a school or educator can take advantage of this offer from Zoom:

  • Sign up for a free account using a school email address (personal domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. are not eligible for the lifted restrictions)
  • A school administrator fills out this form
  • Zoom processes and verifies the request
  • Receive an in-client message notification when the 40-minute time limit has been removed
  • Start Zooming! Anyone using the same school domain will also have the time limit removed, enabling students to quickly sign up for the tool

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:

  • Up to 300 participants
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • 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

The real difference between Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms is simplicity. Meetings and classes truly start with one click. For younger participants, or those new to videoconferencing, Zoom offers the easiest way to get started — fast.

[Read More] Preparing Your School for the “New Normal” >>

Zoom for Education helps schools and universities address educator concerns and improve student outcomes with secure video communication services for hybrid classrooms, office hours, administrative meetings and more. But software isn’t the only part of an effective virtual learning strategy. The appropriate hardware, services and training also come into play.

A student can get by with the standard integrated laptop webcam, but that would prove woefully inadequate for an educator projecting to many students. A camera such as the Aver CAM340 offers clear Ultra 4kHD and wide-angle capture, and the all-in-one solution such as the DTEN D7 combines high-end camera, microphone and video display capabilities in one solution, so students feel like they’re actually there in the classroom.

Even with the right software and hardware, educators and students may wonder how it all works — and whether these solutions can be deployed quickly. DGI, a national leader in videoconference and AV solutions, will work with your school district for the right combination of on-site and virtual education to launch and maintain your distance learning strategy.

Combining Zoom with the right equipment and proper training will help ensure better student outcomes. After life returns to normal, we may be in the midst of a new normal when it comes to education. Now is the time to make sure your institution is ready. DGI can help you with any questions so your team is ready to educate and learn.

To learn more about how the equipment and training make a difference with students, or for promotional pricing on Zoom Room technology from DTEN and Aver, contact DGI today.

Additional resources for success:

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Mike Walsh | CEO

Mike Walsh is a 15+ year veteran in the audio visual industry, bringing extensive knowledge of AV design, implementation, service and sales to DGI. Mike is high energy, providing leadership and driving innovation for the diverse divisions that make up our company. He’s also led a team that was recognized as the top integration firm serving educational markets in the country two years running.

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