Using the Zoom Conferencing Software

Zoom software allows groups of people to connect with each other via video conferencing. It can be used on different devices, such as a laptop or a phone.

If you haven’t used Zoom before I recommend taking time before the session to install the software either from the Zoom website or as an App if you are using your phone. If you are comfortable with technology, and your laptop has an HDMI connection, have a go at connecting your laptop to your TV .

For more details, have a look at the Zoom website . There are lots of places to look for help, including their own getting started guide.

Hints and Tips

  • Take some time to think about what technology you will be using. A laptop will normally be the best, because you can easily angle the camera, and you will have a bigger screen. If you don’t have a laptop then a phone , tablet or iPad will work too. If you plan to join sessions regularly you may like a simple phone tripod , this one is relatively inexpensive, but there are many to choose from at a wide range of budgets.

  • If you have separate¬†speakers, or a soundbar that you can connect via USB or Bluetooth to your laptop or phone, try using these. Hearing the teacher’s voice clearly will enhance your experience and enable you to relax more easily.
  • Think carefully about where you will place the device you are using. You will need space around you and you will also need to see the screen. Try and avoid having a window behind you or close the curtains. This will prevent the camera being “blinded” by light from the window.
  • If this is the first time you have used Zoom, make sure you join the session early, to give you time to download the software and if necessary to sign in.
  • Try to join the class at least 5 minutes before its starts, if you are new to video conferencing, allow a little longer. Check that you have enabled video access and test that your speakers and microphone are working. You can do this by looking in the bottom left of the zoom screen

  • If you are using a laptop, clicking on the little arrow next to “mute” will show you the option to select and test your speakers and microphone. Make sure there is not a red line through the camera above stop video in the picture. If you have more than one camera use the arrow next to the camera to select the right one. Zoom offers some guidance on how to do this .

  • If you are using the app on a phone, press in blank space on the screen and you will see similar options to those above, which allow you to mute your microphone, disable your camera so that you are no longer visible to the room.
  • When the session is ready to start, you may be asked to mute your audio. This is to avoid distractions from other people , phones, doorbells, and over enthusiastic dogs! Look at the bottom left of your laptop screen, or tap in a blank space of your phone to see the mute option.
  • Once the session starts, you may find it less distracting to use the speaker view on a laptop, you can find this in the top right corner. This will fill your screen with the teacher’s image and will make it easier to follow. You may also find it useful to select ‘full screen view’ to avoid distractions.


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