This is a rundown of the most important steps to remember when creating and running your Zoom meetings. Please be sure to also read the full Zoom Safety page and the Zoom Meeting Controls page.


Before Creating any Meetings

Before you schedule any Zoom meetings, visit the Zoom Settings webpage and configure your meeting settings. Unless you're an experienced, sure-footed Zoom user, I recommend these settings:

 Turn On  - Mute participants upon entry

Automatically mute all participants when they join the meeting. The host controls whether participants can unmute themselves.

 Turn Off  - Chat

Allow meeting participants to send a message visible to all participants

 Turn Off  - Private chat

Allow meeting participants to send a private 1:1 message to another participant.

 Turn Off  - File transfer

Hosts and participants can send files through the in-meeting chat.

Set to "Host Only"  - Screen sharing

Allow host and participants to share their screen or content during meetings

 Turn Off  - Allow removed participants to rejoin

Allows previously removed meeting participants and webinar panelists to rejoin

 Turn Off  - Allow participants to rename themselves

Allow meeting participants and webinar panelists to rename themselves.

If you ABSOLUTELY NEVER plan to use the annotation feature, which allows you to draw on your screen while screen sharing, you can also turn off Annotation. This will disable the feature for you, as well as for students.

Turn Off  - Annotation

Allow host and participants to use annotation tools to add information to shared screens

After configuring these settings in Zoom, they should apply to all meetings you host.

When Starting a Meeting

I recommend start your meeting a few minutes early, so you have time to adjust these settings before you admit any students from the waiting room.

Important: These settings must be fixed or verified each time you start your meeting.

Keep Students Muted

Click Participants, then click More. Make sure the settings show:

  • Checked - Mute Participants upon Entry
  • Unchecked - Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves

These settings will force students to stay muted unless you unmute them individually.

Check Security

Click Security, and verify that Share Screen and Rename Themselves are Unchecked.

Attendee Annotation

Finally, if you’ll be sharing your screen, be sure to turn off “Attendee Annotation”. If you don’t turn this off, students can draw on your screen when you share your screen. You must turn this off manually for every meeting.

Click the green Share Screen button, then click More -> Disable attendee annotation. This control will only be available after you have started sharing your screen.

Send a Student Back to the Waiting Room

If a student is disruptive, you can send them back to the waiting room, and re-admit them to the meeting after a cooling-off period.

Click Participants to open the Participants panel, then mouse over the student's name. Click More and choose Put in Waiting Room

You may also choose to simply Remove the student instead; however, a "removed" student will not be able to re-join this meeting session.