Zoom Skilz

Collected here are some skills which are good to know when using Zoom Meeting.

Probably the most important thing you can do 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 introduced to capabilities and you will be primed to find them if needed in the future.

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

Table of Contents

Terminology

Precise language makes for more useful communication here. I have found it useful to distinguish among:
  • People
    • a flesh and blood Person
    • 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 Jargon
    • Participant a Device which may have an additional Role assigned to it
      • (Host)
      • (Co-Host)

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 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

Gotchas

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 can all 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. Mute and covering the Microphone with you 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 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 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 the new 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.
  • You may want to edit the actual Document being Shared if the situation warrants.

Using Breakout Rooms? 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 it Pewter, together with a Participant Device yourTablet and Breakout Room Room1. Participants arrive in theLobby
  • To build on the room metaphor, Pewter issues a key to yourTablet. The key allows yourTablet into Room1. Pewter can move among rooms, revoke the yourTablet key and issue a different key to yourTablet. From Room1, yourTablet can only return to the Main Room, or leave the Meeting.
  • Only Pewter can create Breakout Rooms, such as Room1
  • yourTablet enters theLobby
  • Only Pewter can assign yourTablet to Room1
  • yourTablet must choose to leave theLobby and Join Room1
  • Once in Room1, yourTablet can only interact with other denizens of Room1, or return to theLobby
  • Pewter can leave theLobby+ and enter any Breakout Room, such as =Room1
  • To hear what is happening in the Main Room, the Person at Pewter may find it useful to have another Device back in the Main Room. The Participant List visible to Pewter can be used to assign newcomers to an appropriate Breakout Room.

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 Person/Participant on a different Device.
  • BUT (Host) has the ability to End the Meeting and may do so accidentally when all the person controlling the (Host) meant to do was Leave. Depending how the Meeting is configured, this can be fatal to the Meeting and its MeetingID.

-- Dick Furnas - 2020-03-26

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