Zoom Platform for ELF20

Online Platform for Uncertain Times

Through Zoom’s free video meeting technology ELF20 registrants were able to share knowledge and network safely and economically from wherever they are.

Zoom Meetings, the free app for ELF20, was more personal and interactive than Zoom webinars. It was designed to be collaborative and all participants are able turn on their video and audio, see who else is in attendance, interact with them by voice and text chat messages and view screen shared short live PowerPoint presentations which werer recorded and made available to registrants.

Virtual Live Elf20 was for present and aspiring education leaders, joining online in registered individual Zoom “virtual seats” with voice and video sharing and other functions.  ELF20 was delivered in a digestible 5 weekly series of 90 minute sessions.  After TED-length live presentations and panel chats in the plenary setting, registrants had conversation time in small group Zoom Breakout Rooms.

Zoom Benefits

*Share knowledge safely in an uncertain Covid environment
*ELF20 comes to registrants devices via the free Zoom Meetings app
*Lower registration fees and no travel or accommodation costs
*Register several colleagues and build momentum for new initiatives
*Spaced, digestible series of 5X 90 minute weekly sessions
*Zoom breakout rooms enable small group conversations and networking
*Post-session digital resources, eg videos and Slideshares reinforce key messages

Being Zoom Enabled

ELF20 registrants ranged from Zoom veterans to newbies. For the latter the Zoom app is very intuitive and new users soon worked out how to get the most from the various functions by clicking on New Meeting and having a solo run.  (NB See below: Useful Zoom Weblinks and User Training Videos).

 First time Zoom user?

  • ELF20 Registrants need only subscribe to the free Basic version.
  • First step is to download the Zoom App onto your PC/MAC/Laptop or Smartphone from https://zoom.us/signup.
    (Use the biggest screen and best sound system available for the best Zoom experience. Consider using a headset). How to Join A Zoom Meeting for the First Time (Zoom: The Basics)

 Previous Zoom user?

  • Check that you have upgraded to Zoom  (free) v 5.0. Because of Zoom’s popularity during the Covid crisis there have been significant security and other updates over the last few months.  Passwords/ Passcodes and Waiting Rooms are now turned on by default.
  • If you have an account and are still on a pre-5.0 version, you’ll be prompted to update before you can join.
  • You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting if invited or, in, the case of ELF20, registered. Even on Zoom 5.0 or later, any ELF20 Registrant can join a Zoom meeting without a Zoom account.
    NB However, downloading the free app onto your chosen device (with the biggest screen and the best sound system you can access- headsets help) is strongly recommended because it gives you much more Zoom functionality.

 Zoom Protocols and Tips

  • Use the sound and mic check procedure via the Waiting Room prompt or via the arrow/menu next to the Mute button. Consider using a headset to improve sound quality.
  • Ensure your VidCam is on when joining meetings.
  • NB Always Mute your mic when joining a meeting to prevent sharing extraneous noises. Depress the Task Bar to Unmute when you want to speak.
  • Settings Check and change any settings if necessary via the Settings menu at the top right of the Zoom app homepage.
  • Before you join a Zoom meeting experiment with the settings and toolbar functions.

 General Tips and Good Etiquette for Zoom Meetings

-Before Zoom Meetings

1.   Background and lighting
Use natural lighting where possible but make sure it is coming from in front of you, not behind! If you have to use artificial lighting, make sure it is in front of you and above. Avoid strong lighting from behind.

2.  Eye Level Set Up We are used to seeing things at ‘eye level‘. Therefore find something to sit your device on that raises it up and places your camera so that you appear at ‘eye level‘. It can be very disturbing looking at double chins / up nostrils, or up at ceilings, etc.  It only takes a minor change for things to look more natural and professional.

3.  Background Check your background. Make sure there is nothing behind you that is going to distract. Virtual backdrops are fun for social Zoom meetings. They are not really appropriate for meetings like ELF20.

 -During Zoom Meetings

  1. Muting If Zoom detects ANY noise at all, it makes YOU the Active Speaker. So while someone else is speaking, etc, if you move your device slightly, cough, sneeze, comment to someone else in your room, make ANY sort of sound, YOU become the Active Speaker, even for a second.This leads to broken and disjointed sound for ALL participants. So as soon as you join a meeting, PLEASE ensure  your microphone is muted so your extraneous sound is not disturbing others.
  2. Speaking When you want to speak, you can press the Spacebar on a laptop to enable the microphone or quickly unmute your iPad or Smartphone.
  3. Screen View Think about using Gallery View so you can see what others are up to.
  4. Speaking Request This also means you can raise your ‘virtual‘ hand (by clicking on the appropriate button under the More menu) to tell the Host you want to speak. You can also use the Chat button to pose questions.

 Useful Zoom Weblinks and User Training Videos

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