Zoom is a cloud based program used for communication over the internet using text, voice or video. It utilises the concept of "webinars", basically chatrooms to gather people, but can be broken down into smaller rooms called breakrooms.
During this, it will be assumed that you are using a Windows 10 laptop or desktop, though some of this can be applied to other platforms that Zoom exists on. (Please note Zoom is not supported on Windows 10 s, which is a stripped down version of Windows 10 that can be found on chromebooks)
So, where do I get Zoom?
Well, to use Zoom on a computer with Windows 10 there are 2 options that will be covered here, that being either;
Use the browser version, which is great for ease of use but lacks customisation, which can be found at this link: https://zoom.us/join which will open a new browser window. If this is your preffered method, fo use please skip to section about manually joining.
Or the Zoom desktop application can be downloaded here: https://zoom.us/support/download Once you have downloaded zoom you will be greeted by this file in your downloads folder. Run it to install Zoom.
So, how do I use Zoom?
If there isnt a sortcut for Zoom on the desktop, it can be easily found my pressing the Windows key, then typing 'zoom' and clicking on the relevant program. If you can get to this point, your Zoom is ready to be used! Most of the time when you need to connect to a room on Zoom you will receive a link which will automatically try to launch Zoom and connect to the room for you.
As for manual joining, when you launched Zoom to test the installation earlier, you would have seen this image. To join a meeting, click join meeting, then input the meeting id, which would have been provided for you, and the name you want to be represented by.
You may have also noticed a sign in function. Zoom, like many programs has accounts. For general use, an account isnt needed, however it does allow for extra function on the Zoom application. If you wish to do so, creating one is easy. What you will have to do is go to https://zoom.us/freesignup, enter your email, confirm your date of birth, then go to your email which you signed up with, click the verification link and bam! Account made! It will then ask for a few things like password and name that you wish to go by. (please note your display name can be changed at any time)
What about the Zoom Settings?
Zoom has a somewhat large list of settings, which can be found by, when Zoom is running, going to the bottom right of your computer and looking in the task bar for the icon shown on the left. if you cant immediately see it, press the up arrow, it might be hiding in there. When you have found it right click it then select settings.
In the zoom settings there are many options, but some of note include;
- Test my microphone (under audio), which allows you to see how you would sound to other people.
- Automatically join audio (also under audio) which automatically turns on your microphone and speakers when you join a meeting to allow you to get started straight away,
- Mute my microphone when joining a meeting, which does as it says, which can be very handy for some people.
- Enter Full Screen when paricipant shares screen (under share screen) Some people can find this to be very annoying as it can take away from whatever you are doing at the time.
- And also the recording tab, this tab contains various settings around recording on zoom, such as location of where recorded sessions go. This is handy so that you can find them later.
So, how do I make my own room?
If you are logged into the Zoom application, this is as simple as pressing the big orange button labelled new meeting. Please note it will take a few moments to connect, dont worry, its not frozen!
When you have created the room you will be shown an invite link which can be sent to other users to allow them to connect to you.