Here are some simple tips to make life at Zoom University much easier!
- Lighting is everything!
I have a bad habit of sitting by my windows, ending up with the light behind me. This creates a terrible shadow, and no one can really see me. This is not ideal. I should be sitting in a well-lit room with light coming in from the front or sides! Even just light from an overhead light is great, just play around with it and see what looks best.
- Remember you’re on camera!
It is so easy to forget you are still on camera when you are in a long meeting or a class that is dragging on. It is so distracting to others if you are moving around or getting up and down. It is best practice to try to just sit and muster up some patience. Sometimes others have their video calls set so when you move you come up on their screen because the program thinks you are going to talk. This is a problem, because if you are actually just going to bite your nails (which you shouldn’t do anyway because COVID), you are going to pop up in full screen for people. It’s OK to drink water or a coffee but be courteous that others don’t want to see you full screen every two minutes!
- Mics are so sensitive, just hit mute!
The mics pick up anything from your cat to your typing. It is best, if it is not a one on one call, to just stay muted unless you are going to start speaking. Additionally, if you are in a large enough call, if everyone’s mics are on, it can cause a lot of unnecessary background noise and audio feedback which no one wants. Also, if you just want to, let’s say type something really fast, sort of like the camera thing, when the mic picks up you’re typing you’re going to become the full screen for some people.
- Pay attention!
It is so obvious when you are looking at something else or doing other things in the background. These people and teachers have given up some of their time, so try to be courteous to them and respect their work and time. It is so OK to take notes or something like that, but if you are in a meeting or in class, pay attention and don’t be afraid to ask questions too! Also, a lot of people really appreciate if you have your camera on. I know I have been dressing very casual during these times and that is usually OK! I usually only turn mine off if there are a lot of people in the meeting and it is acceptable, or if I need to pop out to grab a glass of water or something like that. People usually appreciate seeing you are listening, and it will pay off in the long run.
Stay tuned for more online school/work tips and tricks!