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    Use Zoom for KCD Workshops


    You're attending a Workshop with Kent C. Dodds! Awesome! Here's everything you need to know about how to use Zoom effectively during the workshop.

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    Kent Dodds: When it's time for the meeting to start, go ahead and take that Zoom link and put it into your browser. That will start the Zoom Meeting. Here, it's going to allow you to join with computer audio. That's probably what you're going to want to do.

    You can also switch to the phone call. It's probably better to join with computer audio. We'll click that.

    Now, we're in this room here with Zac and Ian. Hi, guys.

    Ian Jones: Hello.

    Kent: Zac is me. He's the host for the meeting. I'm just going to show you around a little bit as we get started here so that you get an idea of how to use this interface.

    The first thing I want to show is you have a mute and a stop video button down here. Those obviously allow you to mute and stop the video, but I would really encourage you to avoid turning off your video.

    If you can help it at all, one of the nice things about remote workshops is you don't have to travel to be in a room with a bunch of other people. It's really nice, but it does make things a little less human.

    Keeping your video on helps with that. That said, having a bunch of background noise from everybody's microphones and stuff is a little bit distracting. Please mute yourself if you're not talking.

    If you're having any trouble getting these things wired up --like using the right mic and everything -- you click on this little arrow, and it gives you all of the options for your microphone as well as the speaker that it's going to use. You can test that here in the test settings.

    The same goes for your video, so if you have a special video camera you want to use.

    Another really important part of this interface is the chat right here. This allows you to send a message to everyone or you can choose specific people that you want to send a message to. Feel free to send me private messages if you would prefer to keep them private, that way.

    That's the chat. Definitely utilize the chat. Keep it open. Answer people's questions. Ask questions of other people. During the workshop time though, I am not really able to keep my eyes on the chat while I am teaching things.

    If you have a question while I am going through things, this is not a TED Talk, I am not Steve Jobs at an Apple event or whatever -- you can totally interrupt me. That's very appropriate. Please do interrupt me. I probably won't see your chats I am going in, and I don't want to miss anything that you have.

    The fact is, that if you have a question about something, it's very likely that somebody else has that same question. Please do ask your questions. Please do interrupt me.

    Another thing is the participants. Keep that open as well. That will show the participants who are in the group and the reason I want you to keep this open is occasionally I will ask you yes or no questions. You can use the yes or no options here to indicate whether or not you want to take a break now or break later, or whatever it is that I am asking you yes or no about.

    Occasionally, I'll ask you more open-ended questions. That's what the chat is for as well. Most of the time, if it is just yes or no, please just click on the yes or no buttons there, and then I can clear myself as the host so you don't need to bother with clearing it once you've answered.

    Now, we're going to talk about breakout rooms. Zac as the person who is me in this meeting, he's going to start up a breakout room now. What you see when you see the breakout room is it just pops up this thing, you click on join breakout room. It's great.

    Sometimes, people accidentally click the X or later, so I just want to show you that if you do that, you can join the breakout room right here by clicking on join breakout room, then you can join that.

    Go ahead and close that out. Zac, let's do it again from beginning. Most of the time, people don't accidentally click the X here.

    It starts up. You click on join breakout room. That's going to take us to our special breakout room, and pretty seamless experience. Now, we're in a special breakout room with Ian. Zac as the host is able to jump between the different breakout rooms that they are to help people as needed.

    In the breakout room, part of the reason for the breakout room is so that you're in a smaller group of people, so you're more comfortable working together. That's the idea. Science tells us that you will learn more if you work together to solve the problems.

    That's why we do this. When you're in the breakout room, please continue to keep your video turned on so that you can work with people. Feel comfortable asking questions. Think about the breakout room as a parallel to sitting at the same table in in-person workshops.

    You're sitting at this table with three or four other people. You're working on the exercises. You don't have to be talking the whole time. But if you have a question, you're going to just, "Hey, does anybody like...Is anyone confused about this thing because I am a little bit confused? Can you explain it?"

    You wouldn't normally do that in a workshop with 100 people or whatever. You're like, "Hey everybody." That's why we do these breakout rooms so you're in a smaller group of people.

    Now the chat in here, it is scoped to the people in your breakout rooms. If you're chatting in here, it's just the people in the breakout room.

    Also, I am not going to be in the breakout room all the time because there're several. I'll be bouncing around some of these breakout rooms.

    If you ever are just totally stuck, you have some questions, you can click on this ask for help. That will ping me as the host of the breakout room. It will invite them or you can invite me into your breakout room, because Zac is in here, he's not allowing me to do that but you get the idea.

    Definitely while you're in this breakout room, you work on your own, but please do keep your video on. I found that people who are interacting with each other in the breakout room have a much better experience. They're going to get more value for your time, so definitely do that.

    Zac is going to jump out really quick. He's going to do something. I'll do occasionally in our workshops to broadcast a message to our breakout rooms. Why don't you go ahead and do that, Zac, so we can see what that looks like?

    In am in another breakout room, or I am in the main session. I want to broadcast the message to everybody to let them know, "Hey, you've got a couple of minutes left on this exercise, or whatever," and so we'll get that message popping up.

    It shows up right here, "Hey, everyone." Now, if I want to leave the breakout room, then just maybe for a moment...I am not exactly sure why you might want to do this, but I want to show you something that happens on the other side of this.

    If we leave the breakout room, then I can just return to the main session. That will take me back to the main session. In here, if there's anybody else who's taking a break from the breakout room or whatever, somebody who didn't get into their breakout room, they will be in here as well.

    If you ever find yourself in the main session, then you click on this join breakout room right here, and it will allow you to get back to your breakout room, and so then you can work with each other in the breakout room as well.

    The last thing that I want to show you about the breakout rooms is I am going to have Zac enter the breakout rooms so we see what that experience looks like. Here, it says, "Breakout rooms will close in 58 seconds," so finish up really quick or whatever. If you don't click on return to main session, it will shove you into the main session automatically.

    Go ahead and return to main session. Sometimes, I tell jokes while people are getting in back to the main session. The quicker you get to the main session, the more you will hear those ridiculous jokes.

    Now, we're back in to main session. Once I as the host will see that everybody is back, in the participants it shows me who's back in this room, then I will continue on going through the workshop material.

    Hopefully, that is a helpful intro to you for using Zoom in our workshop setting. I look forward to working with you in this workshop. Definitely, I think the key takeaway I want you to remember is to try and keep your video on if possible, be in a place where you're comfortable doing that.

    Keep your mic muted if you're not talking, but definitely interrupt me if you have a question. Unmute yourself, interrupt me. Ask your question. Several people probably have that same question.

    Then I can answer it. We can move on. It will be great. Thanks, Zac and Ian. That was really helpful.