How to Zoom like a Pro
How to set up Zoom
- If you’re on a PC, download and install the app from Zoom’s website. (You can also get it for iPhone, Android and Mac.)
- Click the “sign in” button.
- Type in your credentials, or create an account if you don’t have one yet.
- When Zoom asks you for permission to access your computer’s microphone, choose yes.
Now you’re all set to begin in case someone sends you a link to join a video conference. But you might also want to host your own call.
How to start a Zoom call
- Hit the big orange camera icon that says “new meeting,” if you are the host of the meeting.
- Hit the big blue + icon that says “join,” if you are the attendee.
- You’ll be asked for permission for access to the camera if you have one. Choose yes.
- A dialogue box will pop up and give you the options to “join with computer audio,” or “test speaker and microphone.” Run those tests to make sure your microphone and speakers work properly. *If you are using an Android, iOS, Laptop, I’ve found that using the earbuds with the microphone that came with your device works best. It causes the least amount of feedback when many people are in the meeting.
- Check the box that says “automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting” so you can skip one step next time you want to get on a Zoom call.
- Click “join with computer audio.”
- Make sure you’re unmuted by selecting the box in the bottom left corner of the window.
- If you see “start video,” click that, too, just make sure you’re ready for people to see you. You can always stop video or mute yourself later.
The remaining information is for these who are hosting a Zoom meeting.
- Click the “manage participants” button on the bottom of the video screen.
- Hit “more” in the bottom right corner.
- From here you can mute participants as they join your call or make Zoom play a sound when someone comes in or leaves. (Advanced settings, like turning on a waiting room for people to land in before you let them into your call, are available on Zoom’s website.)
- Invite others to your meeting. Click the “invite” button on the bottom of the Zoom app window then click “copy URL.”
- Send that URL to people so they can join your meeting from any device they’re using.
Get around faster
There are some keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate Zoom quicker. Here’s how to find them:
- From Zoom’s main screen, tap the gear icon in the top right corner.
- Open the “keyboard shortcuts” section.
- You’ll find some shortcuts. You can use the spacebar to mute and unmute yourself, for example. Or tap Alt + V to start/stop your video and Alt A to mute/unmute the sound.
Run a Zoom meeting from the web
You can run a Zoom call from the web if you aren’t able to download the app on a computer you don’t own.
- Visit Zoom’s website and log-in.
- Click the “host a meeting” button near the top right corner.
- Select “with video off,” “with video on” or “screen share only.”
- Click the “start from your browser” link. (If the app is installed, it will try to launch it. Just hit cancel if you want to use the browser.)
Finally, you’ll want to prevent people from sharing content that could ruin your Zoom conversation — a type of hijacking that has been dubbed ZoomBombing. You probably don’t need to worry about this if you’re with people who normally behave, but if you’re hosting a call with strangers, you should take a few precautions. Here are some of Zoom’s recommended anti-ZoomBomb protocols:
- Open the web settings and find “who can share?” Select “only host.”
- You can remove people who continue to cause trouble from the “manage participants” section. From the web settings, make sure the “allow removed participants to rejoin” box is turned off.
- Make sure that people don’t share unwanted files in Zoom’s included chat room for video calls. Find the “file transfer” in the web settings and check the “only allow specified file types” box. From there, you can enter file extensions like .“docx” “.mp4” or ”.pdf.”
Breakout Rooms within Zoom
If you find that you have too many students joining your meeting and you have other teachers/facilitators who can co-lead, consider using the Breakout Room feature within Zoom. Below are tutorials on how to set it up and use it during the class.