This article describes our usage of Zoom for our meetings. Bottom line: please download the app and continue to be connected to one another in faith and love.
UPDATE (4/7/2020): Reports of fake Zoom download sites are coming in. Please only download Zoom software from http://zoom.us/download. (Links on our site go to the authentic Zoom download page.)
UPDATE (4/1/2020): New FAQ and best practices for Zoom meetings at the bottom of this article. Or click here for Zoom’s own reference articles and FAQ.
Zoom is a video conferencing service that operates on many platforms – Android phones, Windows phones, iPhones, tablets, and home computers. We are using Zoom to continue our meetings and studies together and perhaps to offer fellowship opportunities as well. Depending on your setup and preferences, you will be able to hear and/or see other participants and the host.
When you join a meeting via Zoom, you can choose to have video on or off. You can also mute your microphone. Also, Zoom provides phone numbers you can call to join the meeting – just dial the number and input the meeting number using your dial pad. Zoom meeting numbers are found in our event announcements. (See the pictures below.)
ZOOM TIPS & FAQ
- Set up Zoom ahead of time. It’s a good idea to set up Zoom ahead of time and to test it out. In fact, you are welcome to contact Fr. James and try it out or, if you are having trouble he will help you get set up.
- Whether to use a Phone or a Computer? Phone’s may be easier to use to join a meeting and they often have less choppy video. Computers have larger screens that are easier to see and the control options are more likely easier to find. You will have to decide for yourself which is a better fit.
- I can’t get into my Zoom meeting? First: Check to see if you have the right meeting number. If you have the wrong meeting number it’s like showing up at the right time to the wrong classroom and finding the door locked. Second: Send a text or email to the host/coordinator of the meeting asking for an invite (specify via email or via text message.) Third: If that fails, dial in using your phone. The numbers to use are located below the Zoom link you have been sent. After the meeting is over, make sure to set up a time to troubleshoot with your host so you can join the next time. You can find Zoom’s reference guide and troubleshooting by clicking here.
- Use “Gallery View”. Gallery View will show you many of the participants at once. Remember the Brady Bunch show? Gallery View is similar to the intro/opening of the Brady Bunch show where you could see all the family at one time. On a Phone, once you are in the meeting, swipe beginning from the right and going left to enter Gallery View. On a Computer, the setting is in the top right of your video area. See picture below.
- Mute Your Microphone when not speaking and use headphones. All computer conferencing software like Zoom has a problem when you get many people together. Everyone’s microphones pick up sounds and send them to everyone else’s computer. Then all those computers pick up the same sound and send them back to everyone else in this endless sound loop we call “Feedback”. (It sounds like a high pitch continuous beep or like echoes that repeat.) To keep feedback from happening, mute yourself when you don’t need to speak. To do this, click on the icon that looks like a microphone (seen in the above picture in the bottom left corner). Also, wearing headphones with or without a microphone cuts down on extra sounds picked up by your computer. Use them if you have them.
- Don’t talk all at once; use mutual invitation. It can get confusing trying to talk on video conferences due to the lag time between what actually happens and when you see/hear it. The best way to cut down on this is to use “Mutual Invitation” similar to what you see on the new. “And now Tom has something to say….” [Tom speaks and then says…] “And now, back to you, Jane.” Okay. It doesn’t have to be quite that canned, but finish what you have to say by inviting someone else to speak.