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Help with Zoom
I know I'm not the only one who's felt frustrated with my computer over the last few weeks! The images at the top of the page could be me! It's usually involved me walking away and doing something else before I can more calmly deal with the tech problems I've had to face. But, I've learned a lot and have found a few useful things I thought I would share with you on these Troubleshooting pages. Hopefully, they'll help you!
Also remember, there's loads of help available online with regards to most troubleshooting issues. If you've read these two pages and still can't solve the issues you're facing, you could try typing the query into Google and seeing what you find. I'm also available to help, so please just ask!
If you've not yet discovered Zoom, its a fabulous app for having meetings with family members and for joining classes. If you want to see the people you're meeting, then you'll need to either access the Zoom website from your internet browser (eg Windows Explorer) or download the app to your device - so long as it has a camera, whether that's a computer, tablet or mobile phone. The interface is quite different on a phone compared to the larger screen on a tablet/computer, as you might expect, so I'd recommend them over a phone if you want to more easily see everyone in the chat/class, if you have the choice.
Where's your router?
The router is the device you use to connect to the internet/broadband. It can be placed in any location in the house and might well depend on how big your home is and where your arial comes in. The reason you should be aware of where your router is located is because it will affect the quality of your Zoom experience. In other words, the closer you are to it when you do your class or have your chat the better. If you're too far away the audio and visual signal will be compromised. It can result in audio delays, jerky movements and loosing connections. Whilst it's possible to buy something called a Mesh Router to improve the quality of the wifi around the home, there are so many different ones out there with varying reports on effectiveness and since they're costly, it's easiest to just stick with staying close to your router. That's why my dance classes have been taken in my study - almost the smallest room in my flat!
Joining a chat/class
Whoever sets up the chat/class will send (like me, usually via email) the specific log in details and this is the easiest way to download the app, because you'll receive a link to do it and you need to follow the step by step instructions to get it loaded onto your device. However, you don't have to download the app, as you can just visit the website and enter the log in details. You'll be given a long number to log in and a password to add when prompted. That's essentially about it. You'll want to make sure you've switched on audio and visual so you can see and hear everyone okay. In fact, if you intend to join a group, I'd strongly recommend going through all the above steps well before the appointed time. You'll also have the option to look at the settings beforehand. There are really only 2 main things you need to concern yourself with initially, the view you have on the screen and how to control the audio.
Speaker View v Gallery View
Speaker View means you'll see in the main window the person who is speaking and usually yourself and possibly a few others in a smaller screen to one side. The Gallery View means you'll be able to see all the people taking part, which might be nice if you're in a small chat with family or friends, but when there's a large class, all the windows will be quite small to fit them all on the one screen. What I do in my class, is start with the Gallery View, as it's nice to see everyone, but once the lesson begins, I recommend that everyone switches to Speaker View so that when I'm showing the moves, you can all see me in the main window.
Switching between the two - on the mobile phone it's usually by swiping across one way or the other - experiment to find out which way - on the computer it is usually in the top right corner. Most people get confused though - I know I certainly did to start with. What you see written in the corner eg 'Speaker View' is the button you need to click on to switch to Speaker View. It's NOT telling you the view you are currently in. So if you see in the corner Speaker View, you're currently in Gallery View and vice verse.
What you also need to be aware of is that every participant in the group is independent of each other. So as the host, I might be on Speaker View but any participant can choose to remain in Gallery View if they so choose.
To mute or not to mute...that is the question?
Obviously you don't want to use mute when you're trying to chat with people but in a class situation, there will be times muting is more effective. If you're on Speaker View and the group is not in mute mode, anyone that coughs or laughs will suddenly become the main picture for everyone to see! They'll effectively lose the teacher from sight - not so useful when you're trying to learn the steps. This is why mute is the most effective method during a class. I can 'Mute All' nice and easily and you can always unmute yourself if you have a question at any time.
How to control the mute
The host can control this quickly and easily for everyone in the group, so participants don't have to worry too much about it if they don't want to. But, you can control your own settings. It's usually a button in the bottom left hand corner that says 'Mute' (next to the Stop Video - should you wish not to be seen by others). Or, if you see the 3 little dots in the top right corner of the window that contains your video, I'm pretty sure it's an option there too. So during a class, even if you're all on mute, you can unmute yourself to ask a question and then press mute again afterwards.