The spread of the coronavirus has provided us opportunities to become creative in doing the Lord’s work. Heavenly Father has prepared us for these times by providing us with technology so we can continue serving others.
There are many ways we can accomplish that goal. Live streaming with Facebook or FaceTime for Apple users. Conferencing services such as Zoom, Skype, FreeConference, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting can be tools to enable us to reach out and serve. Each of the above has strengths and weaknesses.
It is not the purpose of the writing to compare the above but to focus on Zoom, one of the most popular conferencing services.
Zoom is easy to use, works on all operating systems and has a free version that will supply you with all the options that you will need.
After you have downloaded the app, tap on Sign Up to create a free account. Enter your email address and first and last name, tap on “I agree to the Terms of Service,” and you are set to go.
While each of the apps may be laid out differently, they all provide the same four functions:
- New Meeting – start a meeting now
- Join – to join a meeting someone as started
- Schedule – to schedule a meeting for the future
- Share Screen – to share your screen with others
Also, there are four options at the bottom or side of your screen:
- Chat (may also be shown as Meet & Chat) – to chat with another person
- Meetings – upcoming meetings you have created or are a participant
- Contacts – a list of your contacts (you have the choice of connecting with your current contact list)
The person or persons you are meeting with do not need the app or have an account. They will receive an email from you providing them with simple instructions to join the meeting.
Once the meeting has started you will have various features to use during the meeting.
- Mute – to mute the sound
- Stop video – to close your camera so others participants cannot see you. To open the camera tap on Start Video
- Share Content – a list of things you can share such as photos, a whiteboard, your screen and more. When you share your screen any app you open will be seen by the particpants.
- Participants – allows you to control and invite particpants
- More – various other settings
The best way to practice using Zoom is to call your companion. To avoid feedback make sure each of you are in different rooms, then start playing with the various options.
Zoom is an efficient and easy service with a quick learning curve. It enables you to continue teaching and ministering to others without leaving your home.
NB – Just as I finished this post reports came in that some Android users are reporting problems with reception when using Zoom. Currently the app has a bad rating in the Play Store and there is no reason, at this point, to know the reason. Ratings on the App Store remain high. If you are an Android user and have a problem, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.