TMI’s online courses are run using Zoom. Below are some basic tips to help you use this user-friendly platform.
One of the learning opportunities that TMI is now exploring, to help bridge the social isolation and still meet with our community, is a popular video communication service called Zoom, that can be used through your mobile phones, computers and mobile devices.
WHAT DO I NEED TO JOIN A MEETING?
You may have received an email containing a link to a Zoom meeting, whether from an individual or from a registration page on Zoom or Eventbrite. In both cases, you will have received a link, a meeting ID, and a password. In the case of recurring meetings, this information will grant you access to all meetings in the same series. You can either click the link or copy the meeting ID and password into Zoom; both will lead you to the same meeting.
Watch this short tutorial for a guide to joining a meeting.
Test your internet connection and explore a Zoom meeting by launching a test meeting.
HOW DO I INSTALL ZOOM?
Install the app using zoom.us or click on your meeting link a few minutes prior to the meeting starts (in case you run into any delays). You will be prompted to download Zoom on your device. We recommend using your computer for Zoom, but your tablet or phone should also work, in which case you will need to open your app store to download Zoom. Once you have downloaded and opened the app, you can join the meeting. If you have trouble finding the meeting once you have downloaded Zoom, try clicking on the meeting link again from your internet application/web browser. Your browser will ask you if you want to open Zoom – clicking “Open Zoom” should bring you into the meeting. You do not have to create an account to join a meeting, but creating an account will make it easier to join Zoom meetings in the future.
This is a screenshot of a Zoom meeting on a Windows laptop from the point of view of a participant. This is how your display should look. Read below for further instructions.
TMI Course Leader Mary Maler has assembled a wonderful guide to using Zoom on an Android tablet, which differs slightly from the interface on computers and iPads. Read it here.
RAISE YOUR HAND
Click the “Participants” button at the of your screen (1). This will open a sidebar on Zoom that displays the names of each participant and your available actions.
To raise your hand, click “Raise Hand” (2). A small blue hand will appear next to your name and the host will know that you would like to speak.
OPEN THE CHAT WINDOW
Click the “Chat” button at the bottom of your screen (3). The chat window will appear in the sidebar.
Please open the chat feature when participating in a TMI meeting. You can send messages to all participants or to individual participants that are not necessary to say aloud: web links, agenda points, and jokes!
MUTE AND UNMUTE YOURSELF
Press the microphone icon that says “Mute” in the lower left-hand corner of your screen (4). The other participants will no longer be able to hear you, but you can hear everyone who is not muted. Press the microphone icon again to “Unmute.”
SWITCH TO GALLERY VIEW
Look to the upper right-hand corner of your screen, to the immediate left of the participants window (5). If it says “Gallery View,” you are currently in Speaker View and you can click this button to switch to Gallery View. Vice versa.
TMI meetings are based on conversation just as they are when we hold them in our offices. Zoom has two display options for meetings: Gallery View, which shows a few dozen participants in small boxes with the current speaker highlighted in green, and Speaker View, which features the current speaker in a large box in the center of the screen with a few participants displayed above the speaker. We recommend using gallery view so that you can see most of the people in the meeting. The number of people displayed will vary depending on the size of your device. Android devices (phones and tablets) and iOS phones will only display up to four participants on one screen even in gallery view, but you can swipe left and right to see all of the participants.
WHY DO I NEED TO UPDATE ZOOM?
Please update Zoom when it prompts you to, even if you recently downloaded it. As people all over the world have turned to Zoom, they have been working tirelessly to make Zoom more secure and more accessible. Some devices are set to update automatically, and some more substantial updates may require your permission. If you are noticing glitches during meetings, be sure to check whether there is a new update, because the problem might be solved in a more recent version of the app.
IS ZOOM SAFE?
When Zoom became the video conferencing platform of choice, many of its security weaknesses came to light. Zoom’s security teams, however, are working at lightning speed to keep up with privacy concerns so that they stay ahead of their competitors! Consult their website to answer your specific questions or Google search “Zoom security response” + your concern.
HOW DO I SAVE THE GROUP CHAT, AND HOW DO I FIND IT AGAIN?
Participants often share really great links and resources in the group chat! Rather than taking the time to write them all down or copy them elsewhere on your computer, you can keep a record of what everyone has written by clicking the ellipses in the lower right hand corner of the “Group Chat” window and clicking the “Save Chat” button.
Be careful when distributing this saved chat file; your private chats with other participants are also recorded! Zoom’s Support page has already wonderfully explained how to save chats, so please consult their walk-through if you are having trouble.
KNOW WHEN TO MUTE YOURSELF
Why would you choose to mute yourself? Why has the host muted you? In video calls, unlike in person, the smallest sounds or background noises play at the same volume as our speaking voices and may cut off the primary speaker. Pages flipping, eating sounds, phone calls, coughs, computer whirring, email alerts, and conversations with people off-screen are just a few of the sounds that frequently disrupt Zoom meetings.
Many Zoom participants choose to remain muted in group meetings until they have something to say. Unless your environment is definitely silent, we would appreciate it if our participants employed the mute/unmute button to limit the amount of ambient noise during meetings.
KNOW WHEN TO SPEAK
Our virtual conversations do not have to be stiff, but they are certainly different than in-person conversations. To help the conversation flow, save personal tangents and catching up with specific participants for another time. The great thing about Zoom is that you can move straight from a group event to a personal conversation by calling them back after the meeting ends. No need to censor yourself if you have only a brief interjection; use the “Raise Hand” function or wave your hand at your camera to participate!
Being able to see each other properly makes virtual meetings feel more like real meetings. Make sure to sit somewhere in your home where your back does not face a window or a bright light, position your camera at eye level, and tilt your camera or laptop screen so that we can see your whole face.