Zoom meetings have become common in the field of education. Teachers continue to leverage the popular video conferencing tool in content delivery. But with the usage of this tool, comes concerns over whether teachers can unmute students during Zoom classes.
Fortunately, teachers and other members on Zoom with host privileges cannot unmute students without their consent. That said, accepting the prompt delivered by the “Request permission to unmute participants” feature pre-approves the host to unmute students.
This means the teacher would be able to unmute students who approve this notification at any point during the meeting. Even when they leave the meeting and rejoin, the teacher would still be able to unmute them at any point.
Keep in mind that this feature requires permission from the student before they enter the meeting. Without approval from the student, the teacher can only request them to unmute but cannot remotely unmute the student.
Once students or anyone else agrees to this at the beginning of a meeting, they can be unmuted at any point during the meeting without further consent.
So, it’s advisable to read any prompt you receive when joining a Zoom meeting as you could be giving a teacher or meeting host permission to unmute you at any point during the meeting without notifying you.
While this feature may have its usefulness, most students consider this an invasion of their privacy. Keep in mind that teachers can only do this if the student gave permission before entering the meeting.
How To Ensure That Teachers/Hosts On Zoom Can’t Unmute You
While Zoom’s “Request permission to unmute participants” enables instructors to unmute students, individual student permission is required. Students joining the meeting would need to agree to the use of this feature before their teacher would be able to unmute them.
Let’s take a look at how students can prevent instructors from unmuting them during Zoom meetings.
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Don’t Allow The Unmute Request
Unless you accept the request to turn on your microphone, teachers cannot remotely unmute your audio. The only way they can unmute you once you’re in a meeting is if you gave permission when entering the meeting by clicking allow when you were prompted to “Allow the host to unmute you in any meeting scheduled by ****”.
If you did not click “allow” or accept that request your teacher would be unable to remotely unmute you without further consent.
Keep in mind that Zoom allows members to click “Don’t Allow” to this prompt when entering the meeting. This enables students to enter the meeting while retaining the right to deny the teacher’s attempts to unmute the student.
Read Zoom Notifications When Joining Meeting
Avoid simply clicking agree or allow to everything that pops up when joining a Zoom meeting. Carefully read any notifications and ensure that you understand them before you allow them.
You can’t blame your teacher or Zoom if you click allow to the notification to “Allow the host to unmute you in any meeting scheduled by ****”. This enables the teacher to mute or unmute you at any point in the meeting without any additional consent.
Keep in mind that once you’ve given the teacher permission to unmute you, they can unmute you in subsequent meetings they create.
It means you’ve agreed to allow them to unmute you in any Zoom meetings they schedule and Zoom will not alert you again when you’re entering another meeting scheduled by the same teacher.
The teacher can simply unmute you in any of their meetings without informing you so long as you’ve given permission once. So, it’s advisable that you make sure you’re certain of the decision. If you aren’t mandated to do this by your teacher or educational institution, refrain from accepting this.
Look For People Who Can Unmute
Privacy is key to everyone and Zoom knows this. So they’ve included the option for participants to view and modify people whom they want to be able to unmute them.
If you clicked to allow the “Allow the host to unmute you in any meeting scheduled by ****” feature but you’re regretting the decision already, Zoom provides a simple way to prevent disallow people from unmuting you.
You can simply need to click the arrow next to the mute icon and then select “View People Who Can Unmute You”. Select the teacher’s account name from the popup and then click “Remove” to prevent them from unmuting you without further consent.
Keep in mind that Zoom may ask you to leave and rejoin the meeting for the changes to take effect.
Click “Stay Muted”
The default option available for teachers and other meeting hosts is to request members to unmute. To ensure that you remain muted, simply click “Stay Muted” when prompted by the host to unmute.
Teachers and other meeting hosts would not be able to unmute students who choose to stay muted unless the students choose to unmute.
How Does “Request permission to unmute participants” Feature Work
This feature is available in Zoom and can be enabled by any teacher or meeting host. They simply need to
- Log into Zoom
- Click “Settings” under “Personal”
- Click “In Meeting (Advanced)”
- Scroll down to “Request permission to unmute”
- Toggle the switch to enable the feature
To use this feature in a meeting, simply:
- Go to “Meetings” under “Personal”
- Click “Schedule a Meeting”
- Fill in the necessary meeting details
- Tick “Request permission to unmute participants” under “Options”
- Click “Save” to save your meeting
- Share meeting link or details with students/participants
Students and other participants joining the meeting will be prompted to allow the host to unmute them during the meeting and other meetings scheduled by the host.
To unmute a student, the teacher/host simply needs to click “Participants” icon and then click the participant and then select “Unmute” from the popup items.
This feature is useful in many ways but students who allow the feature without a full understanding or realization of its implication need to follow the steps above to remove/modify the list of teachers and other people who may have access to their microphones during Zoom meetings.
Can Teachers On Zoom See You Or Your Screen
Unless you share your computer screen or turn on your webcam during Zoom meetings, teachers and other meeting participants cannot see your computer screen or see you through your webcam.
If your teacher is informing you that they can see your computer screen during a Zoom meeting, they’re most likely trying to scare you or your school-issued computer has some form of monitoring tool like GoGuardian installed.
Teachers on Zoom can only unmute you if you’ve agreed to allow them to do so by accepting the “Allow the host to unmute you in any meeting scheduled by ****” prompt at the beginning of a Zoom meeting.
Keep in mind that agreeing to this prompt would enable the teacher to unmute you in subsequent meetings organized by the same teacher without the need to alert you.
If you’d like to find out whether teachers can see your open tabs, private messages, or your pins on Zoom, or find out whether they know when you leave Zoom, check out this article.