The George Washington University added Zoom to GW’s menu of web and video conferencing tools at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. Throughout the fall, GW IT worked with each individual school to migrate faculty accounts to the platform, and at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester Zoom accounts were made available to all GW community members.
The university-licensed Zoom accounts provide enhanced features, including:
The switch to online learning and telecommuting provides opportunities for GW to enhance options for tools used by students, faculty and staff. Many faculty members expressed a desire to add Zoom as an option for instructional web conferencing, and some are already actively using it on personal accounts.
An analysis of individual Zoom accounts charged to the University showed that GW could actually save money by entering into an enterprise license agreement. In addition, officially licensed accounts provide an added level of security for users and data not readily available with free and individual accounts. These factors were instrumental in the decision to add Zoom as a video conferencing option.
Yes, when configured properly Zoom meetings are secure. To prevent uninvited guests from entering your Zoom meeting, you can follow these helpful tips from Zoom.
Zoom will soon start requiring that all meetings have a passcode or a waiting room enabled. This additional safety measure is being mandated by Zoom in response to concerns about “zoom-bombing” or "zoom-raiding," which is an unwanted interruption from uninvited members or internet hackers. Read more about Waiting Room and Passcode Requirements to learn more.
Zoom-bombing or zoom-raiding is when an unintended person joins a Zoom meeting and causes an interruption. Generally, these are not people from our own community, but are people that intentionally take advantage of misconfigured settings or information that has been shared publicly. Zoom-bombers' primary goal is to disrupt, embarrass, shock, display offensive images and other unacceptable behaviors.
Here are the 5 potential Zoom interruptions, and ways to manage each of them:
In open or closed "presentation" meetings, these settings work well. In open "discussion" meetings, some of these settings are challenging to implement. Knowing how to quickly stop an interruption is essential for Hosts and very often overlooked until after an incident occurs.
For events where you are inviting the public, GW's Zoom subscription offers a premium Webinar feature. For public-facing webinars, we recommend requesting this feature because it allows for better security. You can request webinar features for specific events here. Please view this Video for more information on Webinars.
No, Zoom is an addition to GW’s offerings. The University is committed to providing technology options for students, faculty and staff to meet their needs and preferences – basically providing the right technology tools, for the right use/preference, at the right time. Zoom joins these GW-supported web conferencing tools:
For GW's all-online Spring 2021 semester, most faculty will be running synchronous sessions rather than on-campus/in-person classes. GW’s Instructional Core recommends instructors continue to use Blackboard Collaborate for the following reasons:
If Blackboard Collaborate does not meet your needs, GW supports other tools to run sync sessions including Webex, Echo360, and now Zoom. Please remember, Zoom, or any other web conferencing tool, cannot replace the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS). You should still use Blackboard as your course shell, where you house your readings, documents, assignments, other media, syllabi, etc.
To become more familiar with Zoom, explore the links to self-paced resources below. Additional resources will be added, so check back for updates.
Prefer to talk to a Help Desk support technologist? Call 202-994-GWIT (4948) weekdays from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.
In-person support - GW IT Walk-in Support Center located at Rome Hall B102, Foggy Bottom Campus. GW IT Support Center currently provides in-person technology support only through scheduled appointments. Please contact the IT Support Center at 202-994-4948 to schedule an appointment with a technology specialist or go to https://go.gwu.edu/gwiz and click the "Make an Appointment" button at the bottom of the page.
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