April 6, 2020

We are making UW Zoom safer for teaching and learning

Young woman videoconferencing with colleague on computer at desk

Learn about recent default setting changes to UW Zoom to create and maintain learning environments where students and instructors feel safe, and about Zoom’s response to privacy concerns. UW Information Technology is working hard to balance online safety and personal privacy with ease of use for Zoom.

Default setting changes

Changes to Zoom’s default settings include:


The UW takes privacy very seriously. UW-IT with the UW Privacy Office created a FAQ to address recent concerns about privacy in Zoom and to reassure UW Zoom users that they can use Zoom with confidence. Please consult the UW Zoom privacy FAQs to learn more.

April 3, 2020

Acquiring computers and hardware for working remotely

Student works in front of laptop computer

Learn what computer and hardware specifications are optimal for remote work, and where students can borrow equipment and buy refurbished computers for cheap.

April 2, 2020

Making UW Zoom safer for teaching and learning

This email was sent to all UW Zoom Pro users.

Dear UW Zoom Pro users,

Like the rest of the UW, UW-IT is committed to creating and maintaining environments for learning where students and instructors feel safe. Everyone in the UW community is breaking new ground as all courses have moved to a remote model. UW-IT is working hard to achieve a balance between safety and ease of use for Zoom as we respond to rapidly evolving opportunities and challenges.

Adapting Zoom to an educational mission

Why does Zoom present challenges that other instructional technologies do not? The simple fact is, tools such as Canvas and Panopto are designed to be used only by those who have a UW NetID. Zoom was designed for video conferencing with people inside and outside the UW community, without the constraints that are typically woven into educational software. Adjusting the settings of Zoom so that it better meets our educational mission is an evolving effort in order to minimize the potential for misuse.

Changes to Zoom default settings

To prevent further possible misuse, UW-IT has disabled by default three Zoom features that have been the access points for violation of classroom settings: Annotation, Whiteboard, and Chat.

  • Annotation allows participants to use annotation tools to add information to shared screens.
  • Whiteboard allows participants to share the whiteboard during a meeting.
  • Chat allows participants to send chat messages to other users within a meeting. Participants can send a private message to an individual user or to an entire group.

If these features support your pedagogical objectives, you can easily turn them back on.

What you can do to further protect your use of Zoom

If you do turn Chat, Annotation, or Whiteboard back on, we strongly recommend that you also turn on two other features: Only authenticated users can join meetings and Waiting room. Learn how to protect your use of Zoom.

We will continue to monitor how Zoom is being used and, working in partnership with Zoom, take steps to ensure that Zoom class spaces are safe.

UW-IT and the Zoom service team

Request temporary at-home access to Adobe Creative Cloud apps for students, instructors

Learn how to get a limited license to Adobe Creative Cloud applications at home to complete or support coursework at no additional cost through May 31.

April 1, 2020

Internet connectivity for learning, teaching and working remotely

Find out how to test the performance of your home internet, and learn what phone companies and internet service providers are offering during COVID-19 to ensure better connectivity. Check out this resource guide.

March 31, 2020

Zoom privacy concerns & recent changes to UW Zoom screen sharing, meeting notifications

This email was sent to all users who host meetings in UW Zoom.

Greetings, UW Zoom users.

We are writing to address recent concerns about privacy in Zoom and to reassure and educate UW Zoom users about how to use Zoom with confidence. This message contains information about:

  • New UW Zoom privacy FAQs
  • Changes to UW Zoom screen sharing
  • Changes to Zoom app in Canvas meeting notifications
  • Zoom login on iOS with Facebook

New UW Zoom privacy FAQs

The UW takes the privacy of those who use our online enterprise software very seriously. UW-IT and the UW Privacy Office have crafted an FAQ that describes how privacy and data are protected when using Zoom. Please consult the UW Zoom privacy FAQs to learn more.

UW Zoom screen sharing

Last week, based on feedback from the education community, Zoom changed the default settings for sharing a screen during a meeting. Zoom made this change as a security measure in response to reported incidents of unauthorized users gaining access to the meeting URL or ID, entering the meeting and sharing inappropriate content. In an effort to protect users, Zoom changed the default setting so that only meeting hosts could share their screen during a meeting. Unfortunately, Zoom did not communicate this change to users before making it.

You can change this default setting to again enable meeting participants to share their screens. To change meeting settings, you need to be signed into Zoom so that you are recognized as the meeting host.

Changing the default screen sharing settings should be coupled with additional meeting security settings. We strongly recommend that you enable the Waiting room and disable Join before host in your meeting settings.

Change default screen sharing settings

First, sign into the UW Zoom web portal at washington.zoom.us.

To change settings for all future meetings:

  1. After signing into Zoom, in the left sidebar, click Settings, then click In Meeting (Basic).
  2. Scroll down to the heading Screen Sharing.
  3. Under Who can share? select All participants.

All future meetings scheduled in this account will have the ability for everyone to share their screen unless you change the setting within an individual meeting.

To change settings for an individual meeting:

  1. In your Zoom meeting, at the bottom of the screen, to the right of the green Share button, click the up-arrow.
  2. On the menu that appears, click Advanced Sharing Options and then change Who can share to All participants.
  3. Close out of the Advanced Sharing Options. The new options will be updated.

You can change additional settings to further protect your Zoom meeting space.

Zoom app in Canvas meeting notifications

In response to requests from instructors, UW-IT has turned off meeting notifications in the Zoom app in Canvas. Previously, the Zoom app in Canvas would send meeting notifications via Canvas conversations every time a meeting was created, edited, or deleted. Students will no longer receive notifications when meetings are created, edited, or deleted. Please direct your students to check their Canvas calendar for UW Zoom meeting times, and review their Calendar notification settings.

Zoom login on iOS client with Facebook

Recently, the media has reported concerns about Zoom’s “Login with Facebook” feature. Zoom originally implemented the “Login with Facebook” feature using the Facebook SDK for iOS (Software Development Kit) in order to provide users with another convenient way to access the platform. However, Zoom was made aware on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that the Facebook SDK was collecting device information unnecessary for providing the services. To prevent this, Zoom removed the Facebook SDK from their iOS client. Read Zoom’s statement about the Facebook SDK to learn how to update your iOS client.

Please contact help@uw.edu with questions.

The UW Zoom team

Join new IT book club and discuss first book, “So You Want to Talk about Race”

University Information Technology staff are invited to join a new book club sponsored by UW Information Technology, which received a $1000 Diversity Seed Grant from the UW Diversity Council.

March 30, 2020

Secure your Zoom meetings and recordings

Prevent unauthorized access to your online courses, meetings, and cloud recordings with these security settings in Zoom.

March 29, 2020

Take advantage of online training using Zoom

Learn about Zoom and ask specific questions from the Zoom experts by registering for the Introduction to Zoom and Teaching Technologies Office Hours.

March 28, 2020

Zoom now available in Canvas

Student writing notes with computer screen in background

Use Zoom in Canvas as a virtual classroom: schedule class sessions and office hours that your students can find easily on the Canvas calendar.

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