With the Stay at Home order in place many businesses, groups, even families are meeting online using an app called Zoom. Zoom Video Communications, Inc., a company headquartered in San Jose, CA, provides the opportunity to meet online using video and audio.
Differences in your Zoom experience
A collaborative meeting
Zoom is free for its basic services. For most people that means a collaborative meeting where everyone with the invitation can participate in the meeting. The typical log-in process lets you check your appearance from your camera and test your microphone prior to joining the meeting. (LKNConnect holds business strategy meetings open to the public every other Tuesday.)
This paid feature is for companies and groups who want to feature a specific set of panelists or an individual speaker. It is used for large groups of people and it is an excellent method of focusing on the panelists without an accidental noise interruption. (LKNConnect holds community webinars open to the public which feature local business and community leaders.)
Unlike the collaborative meeting, attendees cannot see themselves when they log in, they only see the panelists. Each attendee is not visible to the group. Attendees can participate through the chat feature or the host can enable an attendee’s microphone so they can ask a question.
Info for New Users
You can download the Zoom app by using this link in your browser: https://zoom.us/download. Free group meetings are limited to 40 minutes. You can have unlimited 1 to 1 meetings.
Most people typically install Zoom from their first meeting invitation. I would recommend that you go to the link and install it before your first meeting. There are several steps that you need to accomplish, and it may take a few minutes.
A Camera and microphone are needed
If using your SmartPhone, you have a camera and microphone built in. However, when using a computer, you need to check to see if you have a computer or microphone.
It is possible to view a meeting using a browser and then also to dial in for the audio using a phone, but the experience is best on a SmartPhone or a computer with a camera and a microphone.
Info for New and Experienced Users
Use the mute feature
Most experienced users mute their audio when they are not speaking. In large, collaborative meetings, there is often an echo or audio feedback when all participants have their audio on at the same time.
In addition, when you don’t use mute — if you cough, rustle papers or tap your fingers on the table, you WILL become the featured speaker. Zoom works by featuring the person who is speaking; however, the speaker is determined by noise on your microphone. A noisy meeting will jump from person to person.
In a Zoom meeting, two people can’t speak at the same time and be heard. It is important for participants to take turns speaking. A meeting leader or moderator can facilitate this process.
Do NOT use your phone and your computer at the same time
I have held several one-on-one meetings to guide new users through the Zoom download process. Typically, I talk them through it on my phone up to the point where we connect via the Zoom invitation link. When we are on the phone and the computer at the same time, there is an audio feedback noise that is not pleasant. It is advisable to hang up the phone prior to connecting via Zoom. (Note: You can definitely text someone without creating a feedback loop.)
What about security? Upgrade to Zoom version 5.0 now
There is a new update called Zoom 5.0 which was released on April 27th and is available now. It uses a new feature called GCM Encryption which offers increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering.
On May 30th — Zoom 5.0 will be required
It is important to update before May 30th, because otherwise you will be required to update before joining/participating in meetings after that date.
Ellen (EH) Stafford, Managing Editor for LKNConnect.com, wears many “hats”. She is an avid gardener, photographer, website and graphic designer. She loves good conversation and good food. If she’s not out “doing”, she is writing about it.
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