Zoom is a free computer application that allows for virtual "face to face" communication through smart phones, tablets (iPad or other tablet) or computers. It uses the camera and microphone built into modern cell phones and laptops to show your face while you are talking, similar to FaceTime or Skype. One of the biggest benefits of Zoom is that multiple people can be in the virtual "Zoom room" at the same time.
To use Zoom, you will need a Zoom account. To get a Zoom account for your smartphone or tablet, go to the "App Store" and search for Zoom. Download the application titled "ZoomCloudMeetings." Once you get the application, it asks you to sign in with your email address. If you have a GMAIL or FaceBook account, you may scroll down to choose "Sign up with google" or "Sign up with FaceBook." If you do not have GMAIL or FaceBook, choose your email address and enter it where it says "work email." (It does not need to be a work email - any email will work.). Zoom will send an email to your email account to verify your identity. Once you have verified that it is you signing up in your email, you will have the option to "click the button to sign in below." When you push the sign in button, it takes you to Zoom.
To get a Zoom account for your laptop computer, you open an internet browser and search for Zoom. This will bring up a page that says "Zoom.Us." In the upper right corner there is a blue box that says "Sign Up, It's Free." Click on this box and it will open a sign up screen. If you have a GMAIL or FaceBook account, you may scroll down to choose "Sign up with google" or "Sign up with FaceBook." If you do not have GMAIL or FaceBook, choose an email address and enter it where it says "work email."
Once you are signed up, it will go automatically to a Zoom Solutions page. From this page, you can "schedule a meeting," "join a meeting" or "host a meeting." There is also an online tutorial to watch.
When someone sends a Zoom invitation to your email, the invitation will look something like this:
Brett Strobel is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join Zoom Meeting
To join the meeting, you scroll down to "Join Zoom Meeting" and click on the blue text link. It will ask for your name for the dialogue box and ask to access your camera (click yes). You may be given a choice of "backgrounds" that appear behind you, or you can allow the background to be natural (your house).
Once you are in a meeting, you will see two icons in the bottom left corner: a microphone and a video camera. When they are turned off, there is a red line through them. To turn them on, click on the icon. It is customary to keep your sound on “mute” unless you are speaking. Holding down the space bar will quickly take your audio off mute so you can be heard.
To end a meeting, click on the “leave meeting” or “end meeting” in the bottom right corner.