How to use zoom
The Academies @HOME will be hosting all online programs through the video conferencing software, Zoom.
Harvard students have been using Zoom for our online semesters, and we can assure you that it is very easy to use and does not require any downloads or accounts. Downloading the app does make your experience a bit easier, but it functions perfectly in your browser as well.
The service is easy to use with or without an account, and allows for efficient teaching in a digital space. While students are encouraged to use their cameras to create as close to a "classroom experience" as possible, it's perfectly okay to leave the camera off.
For those of you that have never used Zoom before, here’s a quick guide on how it will work!
Part 1: Getting There
On the Sunday before your program begins, you’ll receive a Zoom link from our team.
Open the link, and it will take you straight to the classroom.
You will be prompted to turn on your video and connect your audio; please do so!
You can use the same link to get back into our virtual classroom every day of the program, so keep it handy.
Part 2: Your Zoom Room
Once you’re in the meeting, here’s how things are going to work with different features of the software:
You will be muted upon entry, and will be able to raise your hand by clicking “Participants," and the blue “Raise Hand” function. Once the group work section begins, everyone will be unmuted so you can freely speak up and get to know your instructor and classmates!
You are strongly encouraged to have your video on! While it is not required if you feel uncomfortable being on camera, it’d be great to see your faces! We want to get to know you!
If you don’t wish to be on video, simply turn it off by clicking the “Stop Video” button on the bottom bar.
There is a chat function on the bottom bar - you will be able to message the entire class as well as your instructors privately. Tip: Zoom’s chat interface is a little bit difficult to navigate, so double check to whom you are sending your message before you press “Enter”!
At points in some of the courses, you will have to share your screen with the rest of the class. Once you have permission, click the “Share Screen” button and select whichever one of your screens you wish to project.
You’ll see a prompt on the bottom of your screen selection page that says “Share Computer Sound” - check that little box before confirming your screen share so that your classmates can hear your audio as well!
In some cases, your instructor will be projecting a lesson plan and will ask you to point something out on their screen. You’ll be able to do this by “annotating” their screen, or having the option to write on the image they are projecting.
OtherFeel free to use some of the other functions you see on the bottom bar. React with a thumbs up or a clap emote when your classmate says something you agree with or when your instructor asks a yes or no question! If you need to go to the restroom, feel free to denote that in the same place you found the “Raise Hand” function.
Part 3: Breakout Rooms
A cool feature of Zoom allows us to split the class up into groups of 2+ students! You will be placed in a breakout room during certain portions of the program. Here’s how those work:
The host will assign you to a room, and you simply need to click the “Join Breakout Room” button to automatically be sent to a breakout room with a few other students!
When the host is ready to bring everyone back to the main room, another pop-up will show up, and you will have 60 seconds to wrap up your conversation before automatically being brought back to the main room.
Please be sure to return to the main call, and not leave the call!
Asking for Help
The instructor will be cycling between breakout rooms and checking in on your progress! If you need help urgently, there will be a visible button that says “Ask For Help”, which will notify your teacher immediately that your breakout room has a question.