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Staying home to fight the coronavirus pandemic likely makes you miss your friends and family. Additionally, you may be working from home to help limit the spread of the virus. Fortunately, you can use Zoom to connect with your friends and coworkers. With a free account, you can have an unlimited amount of 40-minute long face-to-face video meetings with up to 100 participants. When your 40-minute meeting ends, create another one if you want to keep the party going!
Enter your email to sign up for a free account. Go to Zoom’s website and enter your email account in the space provided. Click on the button that says “Sign up, It’s Free” to get an email sent to your account.
You can also sign up using your Google account or Facebook account.
Open the Zoom email to create your account. Go to your email and click on the email sent by Zoom. Follow the instructions in the email to verify your account. Provide your name and a password to complete your free profile.
If you want more features, you can upgrade your account for $14.99 a month. However, a free account is all you need to stay connected with the people you care about.
Download the Zoom meetings software to your computer and devices. After you have an account, visit the Zoom download’s page to access the free software. Look at the top of the webpage for Zoom Client for Meetings. Then, click the “download” button to install it on your computer, tablet, and/or mobile phone.
Sign in to your Zoom account. Go back to the Zoom website and click on the “Sign In” link in the top right corner. Enter your email and password to sign into your free account. You can now use Zoom meetings to connect with your friends, family, or coworkers.
Check that your webcam and mic are working. You’ll need a webcam and mic on your device to participate in a Zoom meeting. Test yours out to make sure they work.
If you don’t have a working webcam and mic, you can purchase an external cam and/or headset to make Zoom functional for you.
Host a Zoom dinner party. Schedule a time for your dinner party, then set up a meeting in Zoom. Send all of your invitees a link to your meeting and tell them when to log on. Ask each person to prepare their meal in time to join the group dinner party.
For households with multiple members, ask them to place their computer, tablet, phone or webcam at the end of the table so each family member is visible in the feed.
If you’re doing a family party, you might encourage everyone to make a cherished family recipe.
Enjoy a drink together like old times using a Zoom meeting. If you’d normally meet up with your friends for happy hour or drinks on the weekend, move your social hour online instead. Choose a time that works for all of your friends, then create a meeting in Zoom and send everyone the link. Gather around your computers, tablets, or phones at the designated time and sip on your favorite beer, wine, or cocktails.
Use this time to blow off steam and chat about your lives.
Schedule a movie night over Zoom. Like many people, you’re probably watching a lot of TV shows and movies right now. Make your TV time more fun by sharing it with friends or family. Pick a movie or TV show to watch together, then host a watch party over Zoom. Encourage each person to snack on their favorite popcorn or candy for added fun.
Share your reactions to the movie or TV show with your friends or family.
Show each other your snacks or treats.
Discuss the movie or TV show afterwards.
Use Zoom to discuss or participate in a shared interest or hobby. You and your friends or family members likely have some shared interests you can explore on Zoom. Talk to your friends and family about what interests or hobbies they’d like to discuss or do together. Tell everyone what the topic will be before the meeting so they can be prepared. Here are some ideas:
Host a book club meeting.
Discuss ideas and recipes for brewing your own beer.
Play improv games.
Do a reading of a play.
Build Lego projects.
Draw or paint together.
Share and critique stories or poems.
Discuss your pets or children.
Play a role-playing game, online game, or board game together. You might think game nights are out of the question right now, but it’s totally possible to host one online. Pick a game with your friends or family members, and schedule a time for game night. Here are some ideas for games you could play:
Role-playing games are easy because only the game master needs to have the materials.
Online games also work well if everyone has a gaming account.
Tabletop games can work if everyone has the same game. You could also play a game that uses dice if everyone has a set of dice. Have one person move all of the pieces on the board, but let each player roll their own dice.
If someone has access to Jackbox games, everyone can play using the shared-screen function.
Host a karaoke night using a Zoom meeting. Singing karaoke together can take your online party to the next level. Ask each invitee to look up their favorite karaoke songs on YouTube. Then, have the person singing share their screen so everyone can see the song lyrics during the performance.
You can choose to skip the screen sharing part if you prefer.
Treat this like any other karaoke night by enjoying the drinks and snacks you’d usually consume with your friends or family.
Use a virtual background to hide your home if you like. You don’t need to worry about whether or not your house is clean or your kids are running around. If you’re concerned about people seeing inside your home, activate a Zoom virtual background. Other users will see the virtual background behind you instead of what’s really there.
Zoom has a lot of options ranging from plain backgrounds to destinations.
Mute and unmute yourself as needed to help protect your privacy. During your work meetings, it’s easy to mute and unmute your mic using either your mouse or your space bar. Simply click on the “mute” button or press the space bar.
The mute function is great for blocking out noise from your children or pets. Plus, your work group can limit background noise if people mute when they aren’t talking.
Host work meetings on Zoom so employees can collaborate. Schedule your work meetings with coworkers, then send everyone a link to the Zoom meeting. While in a Zoom meeting, users can do screen sharing to boost collaboration. It’s even possible for multiple team members to share their screens with each other so all team members can see the same information.
There’s also a chat function in the meeting if members prefer to send each other typed messages while they’re collaborating.
Do a webinar if you’re conducting a slide presentation. Zoom’s webinar function works best for slide presentations because this format puts the focus on your presentation and shares it to each viewer’s screen. You’ll still be able to see your attendee’s faces along the side bar during the presentation. Additionally, attendees can still make comments.
You can also record your webinar so people can watch the presentation later if they miss it.
Socialize on Zoom to help maintain work relationships. You probably miss hanging out with your coworkers, and Zoom can help with that, as well. In addition to work meetings and webinars, schedule social meetups on Zoom so you and your coworkers can stay connected. Here are some ideas:
Schedule a weekly “lunch” with your coworkers using a Zoom meeting.
Enjoy a “happy hour” on Zoom.
Host a casual networking event or “get to know” you party.
Do a training or continuing education program together.
Here we go again! AMD Zen CPUs already have a reputation as the best performers in multi-threaded and productivity application performance. Now, the chip manufacturer has its eye on Intel’s longtime dominance in PC gaming.