HomeNewsNew Zoom sign-in stirs confusion among staff

New Zoom sign-in stirs confusion among staff

By RILEY PALSHAW

Expecting a typical day of instruction on Zoom, CHS Spanish teacher Tricia Bean was alarmed to discover one of her students being impersonated by a friend and was even more daunted when a series of profanities began streaming from that pupil’s microphone, causing her to end the Zoom meeting in panic. 

This is one example of multiple disruptive security breaches that have occurred in online classrooms during the first six weeks that school has been in session, so while teachers and students were busy in the classroom, district administration took to constructing a new procedure regarding security for online learning. 

Acting as a security measure to prevent what are referred to as “Zoom bombings,” where students drop in on a class other than their own causing a disturbance or needless distraction, a process has been introduced by CUSD utilizing Zoom’s single sign-on feature, referred to as SSO. When students sign in to Zoom, they will do so through SSO, which requires them to enter their company’s domain, Carmel Unified’s in this case. 

This procedure has been in place for almost three weeks, yet it is still unclear as to whether this is a mandatory requirement that students and teachers need to take. 

“It is highly recommended that teachers set up their meetings to require Sign In with SSO,” CUSD chief technology officer Paul Behan says, “but not required at this point.”

With no enforcement of this policy, there has been no uniformity, for not all teachers implement this procedure in their classes, and those who do have students facing issues early on. 

The new Sign in with SSO procedure poses a security measure for disruptive “Zoom bombings.” (Screenshot by Riley Palshaw)

While not all teachers have switched to the new system or faced security breaches, CHS science teacher Joe Mello has been using Sign in with SSO. Despite some of his students having difficulties getting in, Mello has found it beneficial.

“Teachers can preload breakout rooms and not worry about people in their Zoom who should not be there,” Mello says. 

The SSO system seems to provide as a solution for classes that have experienced Zoom bombings, but all innapropriate disruptions may not be stopped if only some teachers and students are using this new procedure. 

“[This procedure] is likely to become mandatory at some point this year,” Behan says, “but we are still working out a few kinks.” 

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