Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others - either by video or audio-only - and participate in live chats. It can be accessed either by a webcam on a desktop or a mobile platform (phone or tablet).
The Basic account is free and allows you to have up to 100 participants at one time (which is probably more than enough for most groups!) and an unlimited number of meetings. Its main disadvantage over the Pro Account is that everyone will be kicked out after 40 minutes and have to rejoin the meeting. The advantage of the Pro Account is that there is no limit on the meeting length (well up to 24 hours anyway) but the disadvantage is that it currently costs £11.99 (+VAT) per month per host.
See more information on plans HERE
You can sign up for a Zoom account HERE
NB. In May 2020, Zoom updated their terms of service to clarify who can create Zoom accounts and use their services. The relevant clause now states that individuals under the age of 16 must not create accounts and should only use the service through an education/ school subscriber account (Zoom terms of service: https://zoom.us/terms). Only schools qualify for Zoom for Education accounts. In light of this change, you may want to review your church/ group use of Zoom.
Every Zoom account has one host and each host and account can only hold one call at a time.
You can find instructions on how to set up a Zoom meeting HERE.
When you set up a scheduled meeting, under ‘Meeting ID’ choose ‘generate automatically’. This avoids you using your Personal Meeting ID.
Leaders should disable private messaging on Zoom CLICK HERE for details on how to do this.
It is recommended that hosts set the screen sharing to 'host only' as this reduces the risk of Zoombombing
Meeting hosts should disable 'file transfer' to prevent any malware being share CLICK HERE for more on file transfer
Group Zoom calls should not be recorded
Leaders should use a password when setting up meetings CLICK HERE for more
Do not share the link for young people to join a Zoom call on social media platforms or any other public forum
The Waiting Room feature allows the Host to control who joins the call and when. This allows the Host to coordinate a minimum of two Leaders being present on the call before young people are live on the call.
CLICK HERE for more on the Waiting Room feature
How to join a meeting through an email invite, an instant messaging invite, from the browser or from the Zoom desktop and mobile application. CLICK HERE for more.
Host controls allow you as the host to control various aspects of the Zoom Meeting, such as managing the participants. CLICK here for more. You also have access to a range of meeting controls CLICK here for more. See also Important Things to Note above.
Breakout rooms is a brilliant feature that can be used for dividing the Group down into smaller discussion or prayer groups. N.B. If breakout rooms are used, there should always be a minimum of two leaders in each breakout space. CLICK HERE to find out more.
If you are holding your meeting at the same time every week you can set up a recurring meeting which means that everyone who is invited can use the same link every time they join. CLICK HERE to find out more about this feature.
CLICK HERE This link contains information on Zoom security features, including the following:
Allow only signed-in users to join
Lock the meeting to stop other arrivals
Remove unwanted or disruptive participants
Prevent removed participants from rejoining
Turn off file transfer
Turn off annotation
Prevent participants from screen sharing
Put participants on hold
Disable private chat