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Zoom accounts are now available to all Penn faculty, students, and staff. Log in at upenn.zoom.us/signin to create your account.

Note: PSOM, Dental, SP2 (faculty/staff), and certain organizations/centers have not been integrated into the central Penn Zoom account and may experience account-creation or functionality problems. Users should contact their IT support group for information about the Penn Zoom account and use of the Canvas integration.

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Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows users to perform synchronous (real-time) functions including host online meetings, participate in group messaging, and share video and audio content. The software is cloud-based and works on desktop, laptop and mobile operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Linux.

It is recommended that you download and regularly update the Zoom app in order to have access to the full functionality of Zoom while participating in a Zoom meeting.


Online and hybrid classes have a few distinctive features, including the spaces in which students and instructors meet. To facilitate synchronous sessions, many instructors use Zoom’s meeting feature to:

  • Share Screen: With this feature, meeting participants can share content including, a computer desktop, open programs such as Powerpoint, Web Browsers, and Media Players, and other connected devices. Participants can also pause and/or stop sharing at any point during the meeting. While screen sharing, participants can mark-up the screen through the “annotate” menu. The share screen function also allows participants to “share computer sound” so that other participants can hear what you are sharing.
  • Direct Message/Chat: This feature allows participants to speak with each other publicly or privately within the room. The meeting host can also decide whether participants are able to talk with everyone or talk with host only.
  • Record Class Sessions: With this feature, the host can record a meeting, including pause and stop functions. The recording will be automatically sent to Zoom after the meeting for future downloading and embedding within web pages.
  • Conduct Group Breakout Rooms: Here you can arrange group breakout rooms. Hosts can automatically or manually assign the participants into a set number of rooms for group activities. Hosts can also assist group activity by joining their groups. When grouped participants need assistance, they can call the host into individual groups via a convenient “get help” function.
  • Adjust Program Windows: Both the host and participants can arrange video, shared screen, and chat windows to accommodate their screens.
  • Use the Zoom App: Hosts and participants also have the option to use Zoom on Apple iPhone/iPad and Android devices via the Zoom app. This has the benefit of allowing participants to access Zoom meetings from practically any location.

Important Notes about Zoom

  • Online meetings can include up to 300 people.
  • Zoom accounts are now available to all Penn faculty, students, and staff. Log in at upenn.zoom.us/signin to create your account.
  • The Zoom app is the recommended way to connect to synchronous sessions. Users that connect to synchronous sessions via a browser (such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox) will not have access to the full suite of functionalities that are available for Zoom meeting attendees. It is also important to regularly update the Zoom app on your computer.

Using Zoom Through Canvas for Instructors

The Penn Zoom account includes integrations with Canvas and the Panopto video system. These integrations make it easy for you to schedule Zoom meetings for your classes, invite students, and share recordings.

Learn more about using the Zoom integration in Canvas.