What is Zoom and How to Use It

Anyone with a phone (landline or cell) or computer (desktop or laptop or tablet) can connect using Zoom. Although helpful to have a camera and microphone via a smart phone or computer it is not necessary.

Using Zoom  is like Skype, Facetime, or any other video conference platform. However, you can include lots of people all at once, share documents, and do lots of cool interactive things. You don’t have to pay to join a meeting/activity. All you have to do is follow the steps below.

If this is your first time on Zoom

Click the link sent within an email:
  • •You will need to register for a Zoom account. It is easy and free. It will allow you to login safely to the program.
  • ▪Watch a video tutorial for setting up a Zoom account
  • •After creating an account profile, it will ask permission to download an app.
    ▪Say yes. This should only take about 30 seconds.
  • •Once Zoom is downloaded, if it doesn’t immediately connect to the meeting, go back to the email and try the link again.
Once your device connects to the meeting:
  • •You will be asked to use audio. Click YES!
  • •Then you should be able to see and hear the host and possibly other attendees.
  • •Audio and video: This is where the most potential problems can occur.
    ▪We should be able to hear and see you when you join.
    ▪Make sure your microphone and camera are on. You should have symbols like those below on your device.
    ▪If there is a red line across one, like in the image of the video button, that means it is off.
    ▪These buttons are usually on the lower left portion of your screen, but this can differ by device.▪If you cannot see the symbols, move your cursor along the bottom of the screen and a pop-up bar should appear.
    ▪Click the symbols to turn audio on or off.
    ▪When you are not speaking, please mute yourself. (Red line through Microphone symbol.) This reduces background noise and makes it easier for participants to hear the person talking.
    ▪If the connection is poor, the host may ask people to turn off their videos to help with this.
  • •You can join 10 minutes early and we can help trouble shoot any issues you are having.
  • •You can also setup Zoom in advance by clicking the link now and testing your video and audio. This sounds like a lot, but don’t worry! It’s quite easy.

For more information that is specific to different devices, check out these resources:



These instructions work for most, but not all technologies. Find more instructions on Zoom’s website.

What to Know Before Joining the Meeting/Activity

  • • Your ability to see and/or hear the meeting depends on the device and method you use to join the meeting, as well as your ability to access to the internet, and the quality of your connection.
  • •You will be seen on the video if you choose to join using “video”.
  • •You can be heard if you choose to use your microphone. Most computers and tablets have microphones and cameras built into them.
  • • Your experience with Zoom may be different than described. In most cases it may depend on your device and which browsers or apps you already have installed on your device.
  • • These instructions are intended for informational purposes only. They are not exhaustive.
What to expect
  • • If you haven’t used Zoom regularly, you may find that computers, audio, video, smart phones and other devices, and components may not work the way you hoped at first. Be patient with yourself and others. Once you use Zoom a couple of times it becomes old hat.
  • •If you are using a camera/microphone it might be better to log in a few minutes early to test your equipment to make sure it is working properly.
What you need
  • •Computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet that has a camera built in.
    ▪Smaller devices like a smart phone do have viewing limitations based on the size of your screen. As a result,you won’t see all the people at once. There are options to either see just the person talking, or to scroll through and see more people.
  • •Internet connection.
    Note: You can also call in using any landline phone. You can still talk and hear, but won’t see participants or documents, or be able to share documents.