Popular video-conferencing application Zoom has released an external authentication feature to keep the online classrooms safe. The Single Sign-On (SSO) feature will let users log in only once and under only one set of credentials. According to a company blog, the SSO option was already present for the faculty and staff to safely access their Zoom accounts. Students’ classroom will not need a Zoom account, but the firm says that single sign-on will help get a more unified access experience. Zoom’s external authentication will be reaching the school IT administrators, who will then set up their respective Zoom account.

Thereafter, to join a Zoom meeting, students would have to authenticate against their school identity system or SSO provider first. Every student asking to join a meeting will be properly identified using the identity provider or IDP name. Brendan Ittelson, CTO of Zoom, mentions that only authenticated students will be allowed into the session, thereby ensuring immunity from outsiders or breachers.

Besides serving as a way to authentic users, students will have one-click access to all their school applications, and they would no longer get locked out mistakenly. Teachers or guidance instructors would better track the number of students entering and exiting the Zoom dashboard. Taking attendance will become a cakewalk as per the firm; every student’s Zoom meeting history gets logged in the Zoom dashboard.

Summing up the experience, Zoom says, “For school and IT administrators, Zoom’s external authentication adds an extra security layer to their hybrid learning processes. For students, the technology simplifies username and password management, streamlining the user experience. For teachers, it’s a better classroom experience”.

The blog added that to begin using the new external authentication in your school, administrators would need to download a detailed K-12 Onboarding Guide. This in-depth PDF talks about account configuration, account management, client rollout, and configure associated domains and meeting schedules.

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