New School Year: Pack Your Zoom ID, but Don’t Hold Your Breath for Air Quality Changes

5 min readAug 6, 2020

By Scott Wallask & Anastasia Bogomolov

Welcome to the Unknown

How will we reopen schools? This remains one of the most pressing questions for parents, teachers, and school administrators. In 2020, the “back-to-school” drama could play out in three ways: fully back in class, fully remote, or — what’s looking like the most likely path — a hybrid of the two.

New data from ZoomInfo indicates that as K-12 schools continue to adopt technology that enables online learning, they may not be as prepared to retrofit school buildings to improve air quality and alter airflow to minimize the risk of spreading infection.

According to new research released on July 30, 2020, children infected with COVID-19 “have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults.” Earlier in July, the WHO joined in with other organizations to classify COVID-19 as an aerosol that could be transmitted through the air.

As a result, a big concern from districts and teacher unions about coming back to class is the air quality within school buildings, given how COVID-19 spreads.

Based on recent experiences with reopening schools and new research on the transmission of COVID-19, it appears the importance of improved air circulation and filtration is likely to be important for students and teachers to safely return.

Staying Remote: Zoom Adoption Continues

Despite growing dissatisfaction from parents, teachers, and students alike with the new-ish, virtual face of education, the implementation of web conferencing technology, Zoom, in particular, continues in K-12 schools. Even in June, nearly 250 more schools in our sample of 96,000 adopted Zoom, likely as a precursor to the coming academic year.

Figure 1: Zoom Technologies far surpassed the adoption of other web conferencing tools by K-12 schools. Source: ZoomInfo.

In an interesting side note, data from ZoomInfo found that Zoom significantly surpassed the adoption of other web conferencing tools like WebEx and GoToWebinar, with over 1,500 additions in school systems in the past six months —…


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