I put together a Zoom 101 for Teachers lesson. You can read it below or import into Canvas by searching the Canvas Commons for “Getting Started with Zoom”. I’m focusing on how teachers unfamiliar with web conferencing might use it to teach remotely, so I don’t think it’s your typical tutorial.

In addition, the Waves Page I described in my last post is now available in the Canvas Commons. Search for “Template for an Online Lesson (Waves by Hayes-Golding)”. Import into your course and edit to suit your needs.

Getting Started with Zoom

Hello fellow teachers! Zoom is the web conferencing tool that we’ll be using. On this page, I’ll show you the recommended settings and features of this great tool.

Part 1: Before School Restarts


Go to Zoom.us and sign up for a free account using your school email.


Also on Zoom.us, go to My Account > Settings and consider making the following changes for your account (recommended, certainly not required):

  • Mute participants upon entry on (way less chaotic to start if the students aren’t on by default!)
  • Breakout room on (puts a button in every meeting)
  • Nonverbal feedback on (hand raising!) <– not mentioned in the video, possibly useful
  • Auto saving chats on (maybe? the chat window is a great way for students to communicate without interrupting) <– not mentioned in the video, possibly useful for some
Watch a video of this process [2 min]

Download and install the Zoom client on your computer from here.


Open Zoom on your computer and schedule all of your classes as recurring Zoom meetings. I’m a fan of the personal meeting ID method so that every class has the same URL, you don’t have to switch “rooms” between classes, and so that students always have the right URL for your class because it doesn’t change over time. Here’s a summary of all my recommended settings (watch the video for explanations):

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 9.22.47 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-18 at 9.22.58 PM

Watch a video of this process [5 min]

If you have about an hour and want a deeper dive, watch this Zoom training offered by power user Heather DeGeorge.

Part 2: Class Management Tips & Advice

My top class management tips for web conference calls*:


Know how to mute everyone at once: it’s under Manage Participants > Mute All. This will be useful at some point when three kids have barking dogs or a crying baby in the next room.


Teach students the shortcut to unmute temporarily: press and hold the spacebar.


Take time to go through web meeting etiquette  on day 1 (here’s a similar list you can share with your students). My favorites are:

  • we can see you, try to sit still
  • avoid asking if everyone can hear you, they’ll alert you if they can’t hear
  • keep your audio muted most of the time so we don’t hear background sounds (def. if you need to type!)
  • close other browser tabs or pull the relevant tab off the stack before screen sharing

Teach students to interact by either using Raise Hand (under Participants) and/or the Chat window.

Watch a video on nonverbal feedback [2 min]

Watch setting up a seminar-type view & use raise hand [1 min]


As meeting host, get the most flattering angle! Set your computer on a stack of books and keep stacking till your webcam is about eye level:

Photo on 3-18-20 at 10.29 PMPhoto on 3-18-20 at 10.29 PM #2

* Been doing this since ~1998, holy cow.

To Do:

I want to add a section on using breakout rooms and hope to update the post & Canvas this weekend.

Zoom users, what have I missed?