Learning from Home - Video Conferencing Classroom Tips

Find these handy video conferencing tools and checklists to support your school in delivering remote learning to students.

School leaders should stipulate: 

  • Whether video conferencing can be used by staff and/or students.
  • Which is the endorsed tool to be used Note: It is suggested that schools use any existing video conferencing tool rather than introducing a new tool at this time, if possible.
  • Under what circumstances ie. with clear guidelines in place.
  • Exercise caution when adopting video conferencing tools as students maybe susceptible to unsolicited contact from third parties.

NOTE: None of the below tools are purpose built for Education. Teachers should trust their judgement and determine the most appropriate course of action when adopting video conferencing tools.  

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meet can allow synchronous (real-time) interaction between staff and students and among students.

  • Video conferencing can allow students working from home to be involved in group work 
  • A student working from home can connect to a classroom via video conference. A “buddy” in the class could maintain a text chat with this student and let the class know when this student has a question or comment. 

Platforms like Microsoft Teams allow for asynchronous discussion. 

  • You can post a topic for students to respond to 
  • Students can reply to each other’s responses 
  • Students can include images and links in their response. 
  • It is common for students to use emojis or emoticons in text-based discussion forums. These can substitute for body language, making the discussion more personalised for students. You may wish to discuss text forms where emojis or emoticons are and are not appropriate. 

Each tool has a range of options that your school IT Administrator may elect to enable or disable. 

General considerations

General considerations when embracing video conferencing tools:

  • Normal school / classroom rules apply
  • Ensure all invited guests have a Working with Children Check before participating online
  • The student should be supervised at home
  • Caution to use in a way that respects each others’ privacy ie: have a simple background that masks who/what is in the background
  • Students to wear school or sports uniform
  • Commence the meeting with student camera and mics muted
  • Only use screen sharing when you’re confident the material being shared is appropriate and not of a sensitive nature
  • Lock down chat or adopt it in a managed and transparent way ie whole class not 1:1
  • If you can’t identify a participant, remove them.
  • Enable the waiting room feature, if available, and permit students.  
  • Disable join before host. 
  • Be the last to leave the meeting and then be sure to ‘end the meeting’. 
  • Only share details of your virtual classroom in secure, school approved method ie not via social media. 
  • Provide an avenue for students/carers to report issues.  
  • Set guidelines about the use of chat ie: only for work related questions and comments; not for social chit chat; only to be used during lesson time or between X and Y timeslot; formal English only; etc.  

If using Zoom

  • Require registration which will show the email address of every participant
  • Use the auto generated random meeting ID rather than your personal meeting ID
  • Add a unique password to each classroom session to protect it
  • Comply with Zoom’s recommendations regarding Best Practices for Securing your Virtual Classroom

Please check this information from the Australian Signals Directorate to ensure your web conferencing tool is being used appropriately and securely.

FAQs for Zoom

Do I have to pay to use Zoom?

No, Zoom have released a limited free version of their tool in response to Convid-19.

Are free Zoom accounts limited to a 40 minute duration?

Not at the moment. Zoom released the 40 min restriction of the free version recently. 

Where can I learn more about using Zoom in an education setting?

Useful tutorials specifically designed for educators are available at 

How is the paid Education plan different from the Basic?

For organisations 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)
  • 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 per teacher
  • Cloud recording transcription
  • Usage reports to track participation

How do I access the Independent Schools Pricing?

The Independent Schools NSW pricing agreement can be accessed by requesting a quotation of this special pricing along with your FTE count from either george.mikhael@zoom.us or Jason.Arruzza@aarnet.edu.au (AARNET was the first reseller of Zoom in Australia).

How can I ensure my school’s use of Zoom is appropriately secure?

Zoom offer advice regarding the best practices for securing your virtual classroom at this site.

FAQs for Zoom’s Privacy Policy


Is it true that Zoom can collect users’ physical address, phone, job title, credit and debit information, Facebook account IP address, OS and device details?

  • Zoom only collects user data to the extent necessary to provide technical and operational support, and to improve our services.
  • Zoom must collect technical information like users’ IP address, OS details and device details in order for our service to function properly.
  • When user data is used for service improvement, it is completely anonymised and aggregated immediately upon collection in order to protect users’ identities and privacy.

Does Zoom sell user data to third party companies?

No – Zoom does not sell user data of any kind to anyone. We stand by our commitment to protect the privacy of our customers’ data.

Does Zoom share data with Facebook or have access to a user’s Facebook content?

  • Zoom does not share user data with Facebook, and Facebook cannot access any personal data Zoom collects by the use of our products and services, even if opting to use the log-in with Facebook feature for Zoom products.
  • Zoom does not have access to any user’s Facebook content.

Does Zoom share any user data with third parties that could qualify as “selling”?  What about selling or providing user data to Google?

  • Zoom does not sell user data. Like most software companies, we use third-party advertising service providers (like Google) for marketing purposes: to deliver tailored ads to users about products the users may find interesting. (For example, if you visit our website, later on, depending on a user’s cookie preferences, you may see an ad from Zoom reminding you of all the amazing features that Zoom has to offer).
  • It’s important to note that the tailored ads are only used when you visit our  zoom.us site, but have nothing to do with your use of Zoom’s products (video meetings, audio meetings, etc.).
  • But if you do not want to receive targeted ads about Zoom, simply click the “Cookie Preferences” link at the bottom of any page on the zoom.us site and adjust the slider to “Required Cookies.”

Do users own their data?  Does Zoom have rights to data if it passes through the platform?

  • Our customers and end users retain all ownership of any files, documents, recordings, chat logs, meeting subject and attendees, transcripts, and any other information they may upload to Zoom’s service in connection with use of the service.
  • Zoom collects and processes this only at the direction of the customer and end user for no other purposes than the provision of Zoom’s services.

Can you define "user-generated information"? It's referred to in Zoom’s privacy policy, but there is no definition for the term.

“Customer Content” (how we refer to “user-generated information” in our contract documents) is any data or content originated by a customer or an end user, and stored or transmitted using Zoom’s services. Customer Content includes files, documents, recordings, chat logs, meeting subject and attendees, transcripts, and any other information customers or end users may upload to Zoom’s service in connection with their use of the service. Zoom collects and processes Customer Content only at the direction of the customer and end user for no other purposes than the provision of Zoom’s services. Our customers and end users retain all ownership of their Content.

Is it true person-to-person in meeting chat messages could be later sent to a user’s boss after a call is recorded to the cloud?

No. Private chats are not made available to the meeting host. (Note: Chats to Everyone may be stored by the meeting host.)

Is Zoom compliant with privacy laws in other jurisdictions like the GDPR?

Zoom complies with all applicable privacy laws, rules, and regulations in the jurisdictions within which it operates, including the GDPR.  For more information, please see here.

Can non-California based users request information about what data is collected on them?

Yes, Zoom will provide information about what types of personal data are collected on them regardless of geographic location.

Does Zoom have the ability to "break in" or monitor conversations, whether in real time or record a copy?  Or, if a customer is recording, keep a copy? Or, in transit to storage?

  • Zoom does not break-in or monitor conversations in real time and places the highest priority in the operations of its suite of products and services. By default, Zoom employs in-transit and at-rest encryption for in-meeting and in-webinar presentation content. Customers can also enable end-to-end encryption for chat. If customers employ local storage of meeting recordings, Zoom does not have access to or store these local meeting recordings. Only customers can access their local meeting recordings. Zoom is legally required to work with law enforcement when there is a violation of Zoom’s online Terms of Service.

  • Zoom provides customers with a robust set of security features. Customers can learn more.


To support remote working, teaching and learning during this challenging time Microsoft advises:

  1. Leverage collaboration tools that are already in place as far as possible.
  2. Automate Team creation, other collaboration areas, classes, lessons and other proactive measures to assist with change.
  3. Virtualise desktops - we recommend schools leverage Azure Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to create standard desktops that can be accessed from any device, from anywhere.
  4. Assess remote file access technologies - schools often store files in a wide variety of ways across their network. We are advising on cloud-based technologies such as Azure Files and recommend a short list of alternatives with an emphasis on quick implementation.
  5. Capacity planning regarding Microsoft’s services including Azure, Teams, Skype for Business and Office 365, and Data Centres to deal with massive increases in workloads as a result of remote learning.
  6. Pilot immediately - Microsoft recommends schools look to fast-track a short pilot of the above solutions, and to expedite this they may need to bypass some usual procedures. Microsoft recommend the establishment of a small joint working group of Microsoft and key decision-makers to meet regularly and reduce risk.

In addition to the above recommendations, there are a number of free resources including daily webinars available to support School Leaders, Teachers, IT staff and Parents here: 

FAQs for Microsoft 

Where can I access advice from Microsoft about how schools can ramp up programs quickly?

To get advice to quickly ramp up your online capacity to deliver 'learning from home' with Microsoft click here 

Does Microsoft offer Teacher Training Packs to support teachers with their products?

Yes, a range of packs are available for Office 365, creativity, literacy, data collection, etc available here

Where can I access information about the Independent Schools NSW/ACT Microsoft Licensing Agreement?

Information is available for independent schools here 

Where can I view the Microsoft Teams AISNSW Webinar? 

Click here to view the Microsoft and AISNSW webinar to help independent schools use Microsoft to effectively deliver online learning from home. 

How can I access further support from Microsoft?

Microsoft are running a program where schools can get support for 365 and Teams deployment for free. Microsoft are putting up the funds to pay local Microsoft consultant partners (Eg. InSync, MOQdigital etc.) to deliver a range of support options. After an initial consultation, if support is appropriate, Microsoft will organize one their partners to deliver.

Ready to get Started with Microsoft Teams but need more support? 

Please see the message from Aaron Geoghegan. Schools should contact him first to discuss their particular needs.

In response to the need of schools to rapidly adopt Remote Learning at this time, Microsoft Australia is running a range of programs to connect schools with the support they need to do this quickly, safely and with the best experience possible for Teachers and Students. 

Free support from Microsoft Customer Engineering and Microsoft Partners will cover a range of scenarios including: getting Teams set up for your school, deployment and automation, safety and security, policies and settings, adoption, teaching and learning, and end user training. 

 If you are interested to learn more about this program or nominate your school for this support, please reach out to your Microsoft Independent Schools’ Account Executive Aaron Geoghegan:

How an independent school, using SSO, ensures the security of their Zoom usage 

For IT Admins 

In the Zoom Portal > Admin > Account Settings
 Turn on:
• Require a password when scheduling new meetings
 • Require a password for instant meetings
 • Require a password for Personal Meeting ID (PMI)
 • Require Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints (H323/SIP)

Zoom Portal > Admin > Advanced > Security
 Turn off:
 • Allow users to sign in with Google
 • Allow users to sign in with Facebook

For Staff

Scheduling Zoom Meetings (PC/Mac)

  1. Open the Zoom application from the Start Menu (PC) or Applications Folder (Mac)
  2. Select Schedule
  3. Adjust the Date, Time and Duration as required
  4. You can change the Password that is generated or leave it as it is
  5. Ensure Outlook is ticked under the Calendar option
  6. Click Schedule. This will open up an Outlook Meeting Invite
  7. From the Outlook Meeting Invite, you can either email the invite directly to Students/Staff or you can copy the ‘Join Zoom Meeting link, Meeting ID and Password’ and paste this into LMS
  8. If you are going to copy and paste the ‘Join Zoom Meeting link, Meeting ID and Password’ into LMS, you will need to send the Outlook Meeting Invite to yourself to ensure the Zoom meeting is created. Note: Zoom meetings can also be scheduled by signing in at zoom.us and selecting Zoom Account Sign On (SSO).
  9. At the Start of a Meeting
    All Attendees of the meeting will enter a virtual “Waiting Room”. Before they can partake in the meeting, you will need to either Admit or Remove them from the meeting. To do this, you can click "Admit" as you see the Attendees join. Or at the bottom of your Zoom meeting screen, click Manage Participants and then either individually "Admit/Remove" the attendees or click "Admit All".

For Students

  1. Click on the Zoom meeting link and follow the download and installation prompts (you do not need admin access to install)
  2. You will be prompted with a warning box asking you to “Sign In to Join”. Click Sign in to Join
  3. Choose the Sign in with SSO option
  4. Enter the SSO URL: xyz
     You will only need to do this once.
  5. You will be either redirected to the School’s SSO login page or to the School’s Zoom page
  6. Enter your School user name and password then click Sign in
  7. Enter the meeting password that was provided either in your meeting invite or in LMS and click Join Meeting. 
  8. You will now be logged in to the Zoom application and ready for your Teacher to start the meeting.


What support is Adobe offering to schools in support of the COVID19 situation?

Adobe has a blog for enabling distance education globally as a result of COVID-19 

Where can I locate Adobe Education Exchange content provided for educators?

This is the Adobe Education Exchange content 

What do the IT Admins have to do to access complementary Creative Cloud licenses?


Additional information about Creative Cloud access for students learning from home



Adobe Licensing Agreement and FAQs


Tips from Dr Tim Kitchen regarding presenting engaging and creative online teaching & learning experiences



How can I access the AISNSW/Adobe Remote Learning Webinar?

Using this link, to be provided.