Sunday, March 22, 2020

SOL22: Zoom-ing In

            I finally succeeded in my Zoom lesson. One of my book group participants has a Zoom site she uses for teaching her graduate students, and we are planning to hold our next group virtually. But my initial test run was not auspicious.
            I clicked on the link to her Zoom group from my Firefox browser on my Mac laptop, and got what I considered a snippy autoreply, that my microphone was not accessible and I should try a “standard” browser, like Chrome. Now, I think Firefox is a perfectly standard browser, so why couldn’t I use it? And a friend has used Zoom with Firefox, so I know it’s possible.
            Poking around Firefox’s settings, I found a place where I should be able to give permission for my mic to be accessible to a website. I pasted in the URL for the Zoom room, but Firefox didn’t accept any URL. Hmmm...
            Okay, I downloaded Chrome. Now I could get into the Zoom room, but when the window to test my mic opened up and I said my test words, I didn’t hear anything back. Poking around in Chrome’s settings, I couldn’t find a way to allow the mic to work.
            I e-mailed back and forth with S., the Zoom host, last night, but we never got together. Today, I decided to try again. I clicked on the link and a window opened with “Launching...” appearing on the screen. It was there for about a minute and still nothing was happening. Then I noticed a line at the bottom saying that if Zoom didn’t open right away, “click here,” which I did (feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland being advised “eat me”). This time, a new window opened asking if I wanted to join, and I clicked yes. And immediately, S. appeared on my screen, and we were talking back and forth. It worked!
            S. said she’d kept her Zoom session open, and maybe that was what led to success, that the host has to have her session open for others to log in. We played around with some of the features, like Gallery View vs. Speaker View, and I discovered that one can “Hide” one’s own image if you don’t want to watch yourself.
            If you have any tips on Zoom use, do pass them on.
I’m participating in the 13th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 22 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


  1. I participated in two groups on Zoom this week with pretty good success. Still have to figure out some things. But it is really great for getting to see and talk to others during these times.

  2. We are all in this together, quickly learning new technology and troubleshooting for solutions. I stumbled upon this zoom tutorial for teachers this morning, which I found very useful.

  3. I was going to suggest YouTube tutorials on using Zoom, too. I watched a couple that were helpful. I hope you get it sorted out!