Thank you for being brave and being willing to try to meet with your group on Zoom! Zoom provides groups, both big and small, with a virtual classroom or discussion room experience. It is easy to use once you become accustomed to the features. Your group leader will be there to help you get started. Fear not!
To use Zoom you need a computer, tablet, or smartphone as well as high-speed internet (if using a phone, you don’t need the internet). Your computer needs to have a camera and microphone. Whenever possible I recommend using a computer for Zoom. If you only have a phone or tablet that will also work.
Your group leader will give everyone a short tutorial at the beginning of the first meeting so you can learn some of the commonly used features of Zoom. Don’t feel like you should know how it works before the first meeting. You do not need to sign up in advance and practice.
All links to groups will be on The Abbey’s “Classroom” page. Every time you want to join a group please go to The Abbey to find your group.
Here are the steps to setting up Zoom and joining your group:
If Using a Computer
- Go to The Abbey’s website to find the link to your Zoom group: http://theabbey.us/category/classroom/
- Find the group you wish to join. Click on the Zoom link provided.
- If you do not have a Zoom account, Zoom will prompt you to create a username (probably your email) and password. It’s free to be a participant!
- Once you have created your username/password you will automatically join your group. (If you already have a Zoom account then you will simply go straight to the group)
- Adjust the sound on your computer. If you cannot hear anyone it might be that you have the volume turned down.
If Using a Phone or Tablet
- Go to your app store and download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app.
- Sign up (it’s free) by using your email and creating a password (remember to write the password down somewhere. You will most likely need it in the future). Have your device remember it if it prompts you.
- After downloading the app, go here: http://theabbey.us/category/classroom/
- Find your group and click on the link to join your group.
Zoom Etiquette (Your group leader will show you how to use the features)
- Mute yourself if there is background noise at your house or office. Unmute yourself when you’d like to speak.
- If using a tablet or phone do not get up and walk around while on Zoom. It is distracting to others.
- Dress appropriately from the waist up.
- If you need to attend to something else (like answering the door or talking to someone in your home or office) stop your video and mute yourself so you are not distracting to the group.
- As always, attend to how much you talk, being careful to leave space for others.
Q: What if my internet connection is slow?
A: If your internet connection is slow you can stop your video and simply use audio. Your group leader will teach you how to stop your video. You also might need to move closer to your router.
Q: What if I can’t hear or the group can’t hear me?
A: Most likely the volume is turned down on your device. Make sure it is turned up. Also, make sure that you are not muted on Zoom. Your group leader might try to communicate with you in the chat box. So, watch for that.
If, after your first Zoom group, you think I have left anything off of these instructions that would be helpful to others, or if you have any questions or concerns please email me anytime.
Wishing you all good things and lively group discussions! Rebecca Hall
Director of Adult Spiritual Formation & The Abbey