Stay Connected During Social Distancing with Zoom

Zoom is a great way to connect with multiple people.  I have found it easy to use on both my iPad and and my MacBook Air.  Last night I successfully connected with three families across the country.  They were using either a Chrome Book or a PC.

I tried to download the app to my Samsung tablet, but received the message that it was not compatible with my device. Hmm..not sure what’s up with that, but I will research a bit more and update this post if I find out what the deal is with Android devices.

Zoom Basics:

Zoom Icon

You need to download the app to your tablet or phone. It is also possible to go to the Zoom website on your computer to download the app for your computer. Pay attention to the questions they ask because you will probably have to designate either Windows or an OS (Apple) operating system.  Because I have an Apple computer, once I had downloaded the app, I could go to my Application folder in my Finder window and drag the Zoom icon down to my dock.

Application folder in the Finder window

Zoom icon moved to the Dock.

The first time you open Zoom, you will set up your account with a user name and password.  You may also have the option to sign in using your Google account.  It’s your choice how you sign in.

Just tap the Zoom icon. You should see a screen similar to one  of the two below–the four buttons are key.

Computer Screen

iPad Screen

If you are initiating the video call, click or tap New Meeting. Sometimes this screen will appear–make sure you have the video on.

Eventually you will see a screen similar to one of these.

Computer screen–notice controls across the bottom. Make sure your audio and video are active (far left).

Invite icon is just little to the left of center.

iPad screen–tap on Call using Internet Audio

iPad Screen–Tap on participants to invite folks.  Invite button is at bottom of the white box.

When you invite other people, you will give either their cell phone number for a text or email.  They will receive a message similar to the one below.  All they have to do is tap on the link in their message.  Make sure they have the Zoom app!

That’s it–you are good to go. Just a couple of other details.

When you are using a computer, all of the controls are across the bottom of the screen as we saw in the image above.  Here is that image again.

Computer screen

However, when you are using a tablet things are not so obvious.  I found I had to swipe down from the top to see the options.

iPad screens

Aren’t the candid shots just great–grimacing and open mouthed (-:  When I first joined the meeting with Ed and Chris, I could not see them both at the same time.  I had to swipe down from the top and tap on gallery view (yellow arrow).

There are the basics of getting started with Zoom.  There seem to be loads of options with this app–sharing the screen, recording the meeting, using a white board, and more.  This app is what many teachers are using to work with their students while schools are closed during the virus pandemic.  I haven’t learned all of the ins and outs yet, but it appears this app is extremely versatile.

Watch our video about Zoom to see it in action.

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