Hope everyone is staying well. The board of directors has worked out a solution to continue with our meetings for the time being via video conferencing. Our meeting this Friday night will provide an opportunity for our members to get familiar with the concept and the technology. Please don’t get intimidated by the concept and what you read below, it’s actually very simple once you try it and on Friday night everyone will have the opportunity to do just that. It will be a training and support meeting to help everyone get prepared for future meetings.
Speaking of future meetings – we will have a makeup meeting for last week’s cancelled competition night and we will do it next week on April 3rd at 7:00. The reason for that is so that members can have a chance to participate in an actual online meeting a week after the tech meeting while things are still fresh in their minds.
We are using a service called Zoom to conduct meetings. You can use the service online (Chrome is a recommended browser) or you may install the app on your computer from zoom.us and use the app itself There is some extra functionality available if you use the app but it’s simple and functional enough to use directly online without the app if you wish. You may attend Zoom meetings using your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. There are apps available for all of the above. Regardless of whether you wish to use a computer, a tablet, or a phone, you don’t need an app if you prefer not to install one. For every scheduled meeting you will receive an invitation, in fact there is an invitation to this Friday night’s meeting further down in this message. It contains a link. The simple thing to do is open this email on any device you wish to use and click on the link between 6:30 and 7:00 to make sure you are in the meeting and ready when we officially start at 7:00. You will be connected with 2-way video and audio to the meeting.
Once connected you will have the option to view the meeting in one of two different ways and you can switch back and forth as often as you wish. In the default view your screen will show only the person speaking. Be aware that as conversations take place the screen will switch a lot in this viewing mode. The other option is a grid view that shows all attendees in a grid on your screen. Don’t worry if you can’t see everyone at first, we will point out an option during the meeting that allows you to see up to 49 people at once. This grid view is probably the easiest way to view the meeting activity as the screen won’t keep changing. Look for a grid icon on your screen to switch to the grid view A computer screen is best for this because tablets and phones only have enough room on their screens to show a few people at once. The default view is probably best on a mobile device. If you use a laptop, phone, or desktop that has a webcam attached your camera will be on by default and all other attendees can see you. If you are on a desktop that does not have a webcam you can still watch the meeting but other attendees will not see you. If you wish to participate with a desktop you need to at least have a microphone attached to your desktop. Laptops, tablets, and phones all have cameras and microphones built in that will work fine. You have the option to stop and start your camera at any time.
When you join the meeting we will have your microphone muted by default. This is simply because if at any point anyone makes any noise or there is any background noise in their environment that their microphone picks up the app will make that person the “star of the show” at that moment. As always you are free to speak at any time, simply click the microphone icon in the app to unmute your microphone and speak.
Don’t worry too much about using the service right now. It’s actually easy once you do it for the first time and that’s what Friday’s meeting is all about. We will make sure that everyone gets all the help they need to be comfortable in order to attend our upcoming virtual meetings. The board has already worked out the details with respect to how the first competition night online meeting will work and we will explain the details during this Friday’s meeting. Robert has researched and is recommending a couple of video tutorials that you can watch if you want to get familiar with the service in advance.
Your invitation is below. It contains a link that you can simply click on to join the meeting. If you use the app there is a meeting ID shown in the invitation that you can enter when prompted.
James Sykes is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: TBCC technical meeting
Join Zoom Meeting
Topic: TBCC technical meeting
Time: Mar 27, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 930 521 680