Zoom Skilz

Collected here are some skills which are good to develop for using Zoom Meeting.

Probably the most important skill is this: Every time you visit a setting or preference, spend a few additional moments to consider other available preferences and settings. You may discover something else of immediate value. Furthermore, the back of your mind will be seeded with capabilities ready to germinate into new growth of ways to use Zoom Meeting.

Zoom is an evolving tool. Descriptions here are useful distinctions and goal oriented tasks rather than detailed recipes. Details are subject to change.


Please distinguish among:
  • People
    • a flesh and blood Person
    • a Person with a particular Role in a setting (e.g. Presenter, Assistant, Attendee)
  • Devices
    • Desktop (Laptop) Computer (e.g. Mac, Windows, Linux)
    • Tablet (e.g. iPad, Samsung tablet)
    • Phone (e.g. iPhone, Android Phone)
  • Zoom Terminology with special meaning
    • Participant is a Device which may have an additional Role assigned to it
      • (Host)
      • (Co-Host)

Table of Contents

TA's and Others: Things to do before April 6th

For Zoom Meetings, especially as they are to be used for office hours

  1. Open Zoom and adjust camera and audio settings (note you can change the background, choose to mirror your image (or not), the latter will be important if you want people to read from your camera).
  2. Create a Zoom Meeting and invite others to participate in it.
  3. Find a way to show written mathematical work in progress (e.g. using a Tablet, using a camera pointing at a piece of paper on which you are writing.
  4. Interact with Participants chat, raised hands, toggling video and audio on and off.
  5. Save the Meeting as appropriate in various ways: record the Meeting, save the chat, save the white board.
  6. Create and manage Breakout Rooms. Note especially that Breakout Rooms can only be Created by a Desktop (Laptop) Device designated as (Host). Mastering this in your context may involve another Person to whom (Host) is delegated.
  7. Know where to share the Invitation to your Zoom Meeting.

For preparation of Course Materials

  1. Record videos and perform minor edits to them such as cutting the beginning and the end (on Mac: QuickTime is simple to use, you can use Kaltura but saving edits is lengthy).
  2. Know where to upload your materials in Canvas.
  3. Use Kaltura to upload videos. Kaltura is integrated into Canvas, Students do not need to download the Video and Kaltura helps assure conformance with Copyright and FIRPA rules.

Other things to Know

  1. Details of the online version of your course, so you can respond to studentsí questions.
  2. Your role in the online version of the course.
  3. The new due dates of assignments
  4. End Date of your work commitment


Sources of confusion and details that matter.

Beware of Audio Feedback!

  • Audio Feedback can range from a high-pitched howl to a commanding reverb. Use Mute, adjust volume, use headphones, a noise cancelling microphone. Any or all can help minimize the effect. A loud, abrupt noise, like the clap of a hand, a door shutting, or something falling to the floor may upset a delicately balanced setup. When that happens, Mute and covering the Microphone with your hand or fingers are your friends.

A Person is not a Device

  • A Person can own multiple Devices. Each Device may be a Participant in a Zoom Meeting.
  • If You have multiple Devices as Participants in a Zoom Meeting, You and others will find it useful to Rename them. Different Devices have different capabilities in various Roles. A convenient convention is to signify the type of the Device when you Rename. A suggestion: suffixes of d, t, and p conveniently signify desktop, tablet and phone devices.

A Shared Document is not the Document

  • When You share a Document, Participants may be granted permission to Annotate what they see. Think of those annotations as a layer over the Document itself.
  • If You move to the next page in a multi-page document, those annotations remain over that next page -- probably not what you want.
  • If the annotations are important to Participants, give them a chance to Save what they see before moving to the next page. You can probably go back to let them do so.
  • Since You Shared the Document, You can Clear all the Annotations
  • Reminder: You may want to edit the actual Document being Shared if the situation warrants.

Using Breakout Rooms informally? They are private, A Participant Device can be in only one Breakout Room at a time, and more...

Only a Desktop Device with the Role of (Host) can meaningfully orchestrate Breakout Rooms. Call that Computer Pewter, together with a Participant Device yourTablet and an example Breakout Room Room1. Participants arrive in theLobby.

  • To build on the room metaphor, Pewter issues a key to yourTablet. The key allows yourTablet to move into Room1 and no other Room. Pewter can move among Rooms; revoke the key issued to yourTablet and issue a different key to yourTablet, allowing yourTablet to move into another Room. From Room1, yourTablet can only return to theLobby, or leave the Meeting.
  • Only Pewter can create Breakout Rooms, such as Room1, Room2 etc.
  • yourTablet enters theLobby
  • Only Pewter can assign yourTablet to a Room, say Room1
  • yourTablet must choose to leave theLobby to enter Room1 (yourTablet can remain in theLobby).
  • Once in Room1, yourTablet can only interact with other denizens of Room1, or Leave Room1 returning to theLobby
  • Pewter can leave theLobby and enter any Breakout Room, such as Room1 or Room2
  • To be able to hear what is happening in theLobby, the Person at Pewter may find it useful to have another Device back in theLobby. The Breakout Rooms panel visible to Pewter can be used to assign newcomers (Participant Devices) to an appropriate Breakout Room.
  • Co-Hosts can join ZOOM Breakout rooms on their own. Here's how:
    1. An Asistant arrives in the lobby in the form of a suitable Participant Device, theAssisitant
    2. Pewter makes theAssistant (Co-Host)
    3. Pewter assigns theAssistant to Room1
    4. theAssistant joins Room1
    5. From within Room1=, =theAssistant clicks on the Breakout Room icon and sees a pop-up window with all Breakout rooms listed, including the option to join a different one, say Room2.
    6. Upon return to theLobby, theAssistant must go into Room1 as originally assigned by Pewter to access Room2.

Passing (Host) around? Be Careful!

  • The Device having the Role of (Host) can transfer that Role to another Device. This can be extraordinarily useful for:
    • orchestrating Breakout Rooms
    • passing responsibility for a Zoom Meeting to a different Participant (different Device), which may be a different Person.
  • WARNING! (Host) has the ability to End the Meeting and may do so accidentally when the Person controlling (Host) meant merely to Leave the Meeting. Depending how the Meeting is configured, this can be fatal to the Meeting (Everyone gets kicked out) and even its MeetingID (Nobody ever can get back in).

Dick Furnas - 2020-03-26

Special thanks to:

  • Marie B. Langlois for seeding the list of Things to do before April 6th
  • the Tutors, Superheros all, of the Math Support Center (MSC) being reinvented as found at MSC2.ref2.net

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Topic revision: r7 - 2020-03-29 - DickFurnas
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