Important Information About Upcoming Zoom Call: Cookiers Helping Cookiers


Hi, all! As you hopefully know by now, @SugarDotCookies (Dotty Raleigh) is hosting a redux of her first very helpful "Cookiers Helping Cookiers" live chat. This time, it's occurring on Zoom, on May 30 (10 am central time, CT), so we'll all finally have the chance to see AND hear each other! I can't wait! You can read more about the chat and the questions Dotty will be asking you in it here.

And, once again, here's the link to join the Zoom meeting (just click on it at the appointed time):

In order to maintain some semblance of order on the call, I'd like everyone who plans to participate to also take a few moments to familiarize themselves with Zoom operations by reading my notes below BEFORE the call. When the call starts, I'll spend a few minutes reviewing the key Zoom functions that we'll be using to manage the call (outlined below), but I will not belabor these points so that we can get to the real heart of the conversation as quickly as possible. You could also take the added step of downloading Zoom on your laptop or device and playing around on it before the call; that was the way I learned to use it. Of course, if you're already a Zoom aficionado, you probably know all that I'm about to say, but please give it a look anyway.

Here's an outline of what to expect when you click on the above link (at the appointed time):

1) You will be prompted to check your device's audio and video, even before entering the chat room. Do that.
2) You will go into a queue, and will be admitted to the chat room (by me) once I see you in the "waiting area". Please be patient; it may take me a while to admit everyone depending on the numbers in attendance. Please also be prompt (even arrive a few minutes early), as we will start right at 10 am CT.
3) You will be muted automatically upon entry to the chat room; you will be able to unmute yourself, but I ask that, at least for the first part of the discussion, that you allow me to do the unmuting, so that people do not talk over one another.
4) I will give a brief Zoom features intro (basically a quick recap of what's below).
5) Dotty will then kick off the discussion questions, starting with intros of everyone on the call. (I will play the background role of moderating the discussion, and muting and unmuting people.)
6) I will ask you to use the hand-raising feature (discussed below) if you want to answer a question or add to the discussion, and I will unmute people, one by one, in the order I see hands raised.
7) We'll see how this process works, and, if it turns out to be easier for people to unmute themselves when they see/hear a break in the discussion, then we can adjust what we're doing as the call unfolds.

Now, for the key Zoom features you should be aware of, as displayed through screenshots of Zoom when opened on my laptop:

1) Mute and Video Controls: When first admitted to the room, you will see me, Dotty, and perhaps others in it. If you do not have your video turned on, which you may not want to do, you will appear to others as a black box with your name displayed (or an image, if you've previously loaded one to your existing Zoom account). For instance, when my video is not turned on, my headshot will appear like so:

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.14.20 AM

Note that both the computer microphone and video should be off when you enter the call. You can see they are off in the photo above, because there is a red line through the microphone icon (audio mute) and video camera icon in the lower left of the screen. Again, please leave your audio muted, but, if you want to appear in video form, then click on the "start video" icon in the lower left.

When I did this the other day, my screen (below) started showing me (though I was ducking, and all you can see is my shoulder) and what was behind me (the headboard in my bedroom - a collage of old plates and photos!). (Note: I had just woken up when I was taking these screenshots, so I thought it best not to reveal too much of my tired self! LOL!)

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.21.22 AM

2) Manage Participants/Participants Button, Hand-Raising Feature, and Other Reactions: Now, the next area you'll want to open is the "Manage Participants" or "Participants" button, which should be toward the bottom middle of your screen. Here, you will be able to see a list of everyone on the call, in a pane that opens to the right of the screen.

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.23.35 AM

Once here, you can rename yourself or edit the image that appears to others in the room (if your video is NOT on). Simply click on "More" next to your name, and "Rename" and "Edit Profile Picture" options will come up, as shown below. I left my name and profile pic as is!

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.29.17 AM

Now, you will also see various reactions toward the bottom of the "Participants" pane, like "yes", "go slower", "go faster", etc. You can click on any of these icons to communicate with me and Dotty. For instance, if we are going too fast, just click "go slower".

As a participant, you will also see the hand-raising feature here (a raised hand icon). It is not showing on my screen, since I am the moderator of the above test chat and the only one on it, and thus can't raise my hand. But, you will see it, and you should click on it whenever you have something to say. I will see your raised hand, and then can promptly unmute you as soon as the previous person is done talking.

There are more reaction options under the "More" button (as shown below), so feel free to explore that area too.

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.30.08 AM

3) Chat Feature: This is the last feature of real relevance to this call. It's one that will allow you to "text" with everyone or any individual participant on the call without interrupting the speaker. To find the chat feature, I need to look under my "More" button at the bottom right of my screen, but you may find it exposed on the bottom of your screen without having to go into "More".

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.23.54 AM

Anyway, if you click on it, another "Chat" pane will open up, typically to the right of the screen under the "Participants" pane, like so:

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.24.28 AM

Once here, hover over the "To:" box to select a single participant you want to message, or "Everyone", if you want to message all of the participants on the call. Once you've selected the recipient, type your message in the box directly under the "To:" box. I typed "Hi, all". Then, simply hit return, and the message will be delivered in text form to the intended recipient(s):

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.25.23 AM

Note that messages sent to an individual participant can only be seen by that participant, so, if you want to private-message with someone during the call, this is the way to do it.

And that's all you really need to know. Again, I will recap all of this on the call, and guide people, as needed, as we go through the call, but Zoom REALLY IS very simple, intuitive, and FUN!

DOTTY AND I ARE SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU ON THE CALL! If you have any questions as you get into playing with Zoom, please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

And, once again, here's the link to join the Zoom meeting (just click on it at the appointed time, May 30, 10 am CT):

For your convenience, I've also attached a Powerpoint presentation of the above Zoom features slides, which you can download and review at your leisure, or print out and have nearby at the time of the call.


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