I'm sure others have more skill in zoom, but in case this is helpful, this is the list of zoom tips I am sharing with my students:
1. When you enter, rename yourself with your preferred name and your pronouns.
2. If you are in a place with background noise, stay muted except when you speak.
3. You can hide your self-view by going to the … above your picture. This has the benefit of helping you focus on others instead of yourself (it also means more people fit on the gallery view).
4. You can go above someone else’s picture to their … and “pin” them. That makes them fill the screen until you unpin. You can also toggle to between “speaker view” and “gallery view.” On speaker view you won’t see everyone’s expression, but you will see the person speaking much better.
5. Feel free to use the emoticons and the hand raising that are below the list of participants when you click on “participants” along the bottom.
6. Also – use physical signs (like sign language) to make your thoughts and feelings known to others – we’ll agree on some!
7. If you do NOT have the chat open, you can unmute yourself by holding down the space bar. This doesn’t work with chat open.
8. Have your webcam at eye level if possible.
9. See if you can position yourself to be lit from the front. It's hard to see the faces of backlight individuals.
10. Minimize distractions – consider turning off notifications from messages, chats, email, etc. As always, turn off your phone if you are in class. Avoid multitasking – just engage in the activity that is presented to all.
11. If you have poor sound quality on your computer, consider also logging in on your phone – turn off video on your phone/turn off audio (both mic and speaker) on your computer.