Zoom with the Desert Explorers
If you would like to join an online DE meeting like the one we had on November 30th, it’s fairly simple. We used a free application called Zoom, which works on computers and phones to allow a group to video chat together easily. All it requires is a fairly good connection to the internet and a little patience to get the hang of it.
In our case, a host sets up a meeting on the Zoom.us website and then sends an email to everybody in the group with a link to click on to connect to the meeting.
You can control whether you would like to show your image onscreen and mute or unmute your microphone by start/stop buttons on the lower left of the screen.
The Select Speaker View or Gallery View button on the top right of the screen lets you see the speaker “highlighted” and in a large window, or checkerboard style in the Gallery View. The example above is the Gallery View.
You can view the Participant List and Chat Window by clicking on the controls at the bottom center of the window and Chat with everyone in the group or a specific individual by typing into the Chat Messages area at the bottom right of the screen.
If you would like to respond visually without interrupting the meeting, reaction icons are available at the bottom center of the screen as well as the right hand column below the participants. Thumbs up, clapping, raised hand, yes and no and other icons will show on your video window for the group to see.
The host has several additional controls available, such as Mute All for times when someone would like to give a presentation uninterrupted or show a movie or slide show.
All of this works fairly seamlessly for the most part, but it is not without a few glitches and surprises, just like everything else high tech.
Here a couple of good ideas to consider:
- Try to use a headset or earbuds if you have them for the best audio quality
- Mute yourself when not speaking to reduce background noise.
- Close other apps on your computer to minimize distractions and random alert sounds.
- Try to have a wired connection rather than WiFi to avoid service interruptions.
- Consider lighting where you are seated – a bright light or window behind you will leave your face in shadow.
Join in on the next one! We can have up to 100 people at the same time and it’s a great way to stay in touch. ~ Jay