Automating Zoom meeting logins for preschoolers

I have a four-year-old with a remote Zoom class that she accesses everyday from a Mac desktop. She can’t read yet, so I am pretty amazed at how well she is able to navigate to the meeting most days by opening Safari and clicking the bookmark that I’ve saved for her which includes the meeting password.

The problem is that it’s not quite a bulletproof system yet. If Safari happens to have been left on a different page than the one showing her bookmarks or if for some reason the Safari bookmark itself or Safari icon gets deleted, she easily gets lost.

What I think I’d like to do is set up some kind of desktop menu with a direct link (preferably on the large side with the ability to add a custom graphical icon) to her meeting that is not easily deleted/moved. Any ideas greatly appreciated!

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There are various apps, such as Fluid, that can turn web pages into Desktop like apps, and you could may an alias on the Desktop that is read only, or recreates it if it is not available based on a script periodically checking. Not a menu, but in effect the Desktop is the menu.

As an aside, I would just ask what measures you have to ensure the child is not navigating anywhere they should not venture to? Do they have their own account/profile with any restrictions on what they can navigate to for example? As is, the request reads like the child is to operate the system unsupervised, and if so, ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place is something to be considered if it has not been already.


Yes, my daughter is working from her own laptop (an old one we had around that wasn’t otherwise being used), and has a very limited user account.

I have considered Fluid and creating a web-based dashboard, but I suspect it would have as many problems as we currently have…it’s not clear what additional help that would provide over the current method of the Safari bookmark screen. So I’m kind of hoping that someone else might have encountered a similar situation and have an idea of something other than a-browser based tool. I almost feel like what I’m really looking for is something like a launch utility, like Alfred, but more graphic/kiosk-like.

  1. Simplifying the interaction to the desktop only.
  2. The ability to programmatically restore the app links with a command line script on a schedule, or to stop accidental deletion by setting as read only/ changing the owner on the alias.

If you have a separate account/laptop then I think you should be able to configure the apps to only visit specific domains and the OS to only allow the running of those apps.

I can programmatically restore a browser window and display a browser without additional buttons as well. Fluid seems an unnecessary layer to me. I do see that there is a solution with more deeply investing in customizing a browser UI, I’m just wondering about additional options that may be better suited.

To me this feels like a problem that other people may be encountering as well, given the general circumstances of all these kids learning from home at this time. Maybe not, but that’s why I’m putting the question out there.

I do appreciate your input! :slight_smile:

As an update, wanted to post my conversation with Zoom product management about this issue, in case anyone finds this topic and is in a similar situation.

They really need a very simplified / lockdownable client version of the app. Once my six year old figured out video settings major distraction ensued.

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I’m guessing they never thought their software would be used by hundreds of thousands of kindergarten and elementary students, but hopefully they will eventually meet the need.