We are still getting many schools, and leadership teams ask us about using Zoom, when they have full access and licences for Microsoft Teams. We wanted to confirm some of the differences and details, and more importantly offer training on Teams to all.
Spoiler: Why we recommend Teams over Zoom
- Teams is always free, where Zoom is only free for a low package normally, and has been given out for free in lockdown. So where staff start using a platform, that they may well use in the future for collaborative meetings, best to use the long term solution
- Teams is built into Office365, it uses high security systems, but makes it easy to collaborate via chat and video to others in your organisation, and external
- You can easily invite external contacts to a meeting, they do not need a teams licence
- You can safely record meetings, and all chat and activity is logged within Office365 for Safeguarding
- You can have up to 9 people on camera on the screen at once, but hundreds in a meeting – they will move into focus when talking, or you can pin people
- The hands up function is great for classrooms
- You can share your screen or an application window, and share control
- Can be used my students securely, and has many tools for online teaching built in.
Whilst Zoom is a useful tool, it is yet another system for schools to manage, in terms of GDPR and Safeguarding it is likely not to have been evaluated by your DSL or Safeguarding lead. It makes complete sense to stick to one system where everything is built in.
Google Hangout, for those schools using GSuite is also completely free, and a safe option for schools.
I have been told that Zoom is safe if I do X,Y or Z
Zoom has had historical issues with safety and security. As with any software, the right settings are critical. Teams is made for education, and so a lot of this is built in and default, and your Office365 tenancies have been set up by us with this in mind, and are ready to go.
Whilst we cannot vouch for every release of Zoom (or teams) we have done our homework and assessments on Teams. It is by far the safer and more secure platform going forward.
We don’t believe that Zoom is evil, but when you have two systems, one which is built into the online platform you use, built for security and education, and the other with a history of security, privacy and safeguarding issues, it makes sense to use Teams in your School.
But this person says to use zoom
We understand external organisation may be using Zoom, or a range of other platforms for meetings. This is completely fine, but to install and allow zoom we will need a request from the head of the school, due to concerns for safeguarding and data security. Heads should make sure they have completed the relevant impact assessment, and that safeguarding leads are confident in security and safety if sharing confidential information.
I would like our school to use Zoom anyway
This is ultimately your choice, and we will of course support you. However, we strongly recommend you take our offer of a 15/30 minute introduction to teams. Lots of our schools now swear by this software and what it has enabled, and we are happy to put you in touch with other schools within our supported community who can vouch for it.
I have more questions
Get in touch! Our Helpdesk are only to happy to advise and help!