IPEd’s national office has adopted Zoom.us as its preferred online platform for videoconferencing. This allows members outside the main centres to join meetings and discussions from their home or office.
Since May 2018, Editors WA has also used Zoom.us to allow our newsletter editor to join committee meetings from her home in Albany. This facility is being extended so that members can join the 2018 branch Annual General Meeting even if you cannot make it to the venue in person.
The best option is to download Zoom.us and install on your own computer. It is free to download and free to sign up for basic services. (IPEd has a paid account but this is for staff and committee chairs to set up meetings.)
A meeting code (URL link) will be sent out for the meeting. The simplest way to join a meeting is to open the Zoom.us program and select the ‘Join’ option from the five available buttons. Then enter the meeting code in the dialog window that pops up.
Alternatively, click on the link (URL) in the email that was sent to you. This takes you to the Zoom.us website which asks you to enter the meeting code. Provided you have installed the Zoom.us software, the website will recognise this and ask if you want to use the installed program. (It is also possible to take part in the meeting via the Zoom.us website, but the installed program is easier to use and may give more options.)
Make sure you have a stable Internet connection and download speeds greater than about 1.5 Mb/sec. Faster is better. An in-built camera — for laptops this is typically at the top of the screen — or separate webcam will let you stream a view of yourself. Depending on the quality of your in-built microphone and speakers, you may like to plug an audio headset or earbuds into your computer.
What you will see
Provided you have a camera attached to your computer (and, if necessary, switched on) your initial view will be of yourself with a dialog that invites you to Join Audio Conference By Computer. If you are unsure of your Internet connection, this is a chance for you to join by phone call instead.
The computer from which the meeting is being streamed will have a camera that lets you see the meeting space. Once you have joined, you will see the meeting space and inset windows for any other participants who have joined the meeting remotely. Hovering the cursor over the bottom of the Zoom.us window will show buttons to control video and audio (black bar in image above). You can choose to show yourself via video, or not, and you can also mute your own microphone.
The Zoom.us window has a chat panel you can open and close to suit yourself. This enables you to send a silent question or comment to all participants or to a selected participant, such as the meeting facilitator.
The meeting facilitators may choose share their screen, in which case you will see a view of, for example, the meeting agenda or other documents. In this case, participant video windows are minimised to part of your own screen. There is typically a short delay while the facilitator switches between shared screen views.
Leaving the meeting
The facilitator will end the session for all when the meeting is finished. You can also choose to leave the meeting at any time by clicking the Leave Meeting tag that pops up when you hover the cursor over the lower part of the Zoom.us window.
If you get stuck, please email Stephen White (firstname.lastname@example.org). We may try to arrange a 10 minute practice session a few days before the AGM on Saturday 21 July.
For more information about the AGM, please email Tracy Piper (email@example.com).