In the last couple of weeks more and more people, including piano teachers, have turned to zoom for online piano lessons. It’s a great platform on the whole and for many people (although not all) it’s more stable and versatile than the alternatives of Skype, Facetime or What’s App.
Zoom has been in the news recently though, and not always for the right reasons! There have been reports of zoom bombers and trolls gatecrashing online meetings and parties. Definitely not something that is desirable in piano lessons. Zoom claims to be a secure platform but for that to happen the settings need to be set up correctly.
With so many options to consider in the zoom Settings it can be a little bewildering! So here are 10 steps that will mean your use of zoom for online piano lessons is as safe and secure as possible.
#1 USE YOUR LAPTOP
Whenever possible I would recommend that you use a laptop as you just get more flexibility.
#2 OPEN ZOOM IN BROWSER WINDOW
To adjust the settings for your meetings open up zoom in a browser window rather than the desktop app. It allows you to access the more advanced features mentioned below. This is where you get sent anyhow when you click on Advanced Settings in zoom.
#3 USE RANDOM MEETING ID
Asking zoom to generate a Random Meeting ID for every meeting means that it can’t be widely shared. Using your Personal Meeting ID effectively sets up a permanently running meeting.
#4 DISABLE JOIN BEFORE HOST OPTION
This means that your pupils have to wait for you to start the lesson.
#5 USE THE WAITING ROOM
Using the waiting room option means that students are placed in the waiting room until you let them in.
# 6 CHOOSE HOST ONLY SCREEN SHARING
It is safer to make the default setting for Screen sharing host only. This gives you the ability to share your screen and, during the meeting itself, you can give permission to your student to also share their screen.
#7 CHOOSE REGISTRATION AND/OR PASSWORD PROTECT
For additional levels of security use the registration option and the password protect facility. Registration means you will have the email address of the registrant and to enter the meeting they will then need to enter the password.
#8 RECORD ONTO YOUR OWN COMPUTER
If you and the parent and student decide to record any segment of the lesson (with all the necessary permissions of course) save it to your own computer rather than the cloud option. Please note that the option to record to the zoom cloud is only available with the paid plan.
#9 LOCK THE MEETING ONCE IT HAS STARTED
This is an additional level of security that you can take if you want to. You can find it when the meeting is already underway. Click on Participants and then the More… that appears.
# 10 READ ALL THE FINER DETAILS VIA ZOOM BLOG
zoom are responding positively to all the attention with useful blogs and articles. To read their tips and advice (from which much of the above has been taken) CLICK HERE
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This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart, co-founder and Director of The Curious Piano Teachers.