Has your Sabbath School class tried meeting with Zoom? After 2 weeks of “social distancing”, it was so good to see the faces of my Sabbath School class again – via Zoom. We use Zoom regularly for work but this was my first time as host and we learned a few things that you might find helpful.
If you’re a Participant
1. Start muted
Allows you to enter quietly and “unmute” when you’re ready.
2. Mute when you’re not talking
Background noise (e.g. coughing, dog barking, keyboard clicking) can steal the “floor” and interrupt whoever is speaking.
3. Try Gallery view
Gallery view shows up to 49 people as smaller, thumbnail images – feels more like a group discussion and less like a presentation.
4. Turn off your video if it’s freezing
Video takes more bandwidth than audio. Turning your video off will allow you to still see and hear the class and participate.
If you’re the Host
1. Require a password
Google “zoombombing” if you think this is optional.
2. Mute participants on entry
You can set this ahead of time under Advanced Options when you schedule the meeting.
3. Feel free to start early or end late
Zoom will let you in early and it won’t kick you out if you go overtime. Thanks to Ken Norton for this tip.
4. Set sharing to “Only host”
Once the meeting starts, click the up-arrow beside “Share Screen”, then choose Advanced Sharing Options.
Under “Who Can Share?”, choose “Only host”. Prevents friendly or accidental zoombombing.
5. “Mute all” to resolve a feedback emergency
Then you can use “Manage participants” to selectively mute anybody that doesn’t know how to.
Zoom is definitely a better way for Sabbath School classes to be #alonetogether. If you have any other tips, send to us at email@example.com and we’ll add them to the list.
Also, churches and schools can take advantage of discounted prices on all Zoom products by purchasing through the North American Division. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Excellent tips! Thank you, Brian. One small change under the “If you’re the Host” section: It is not necessary to schedule the meeting a little longer than actual class. Zoom does cut off the meeting after the scheduled time is expired. Here’s straight from their help page – https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362413-Scheduling-meetings: “Duration: Choose the approximate duration of the meeting. This is only for scheduling purposes. The meeting will not end after this length of time.” Thanks again for putting this out. These are great to share with our Sabbath school leaders. ~Blessings
Thank you for this, Ken. We’ll delete that tip – one less thing for the host to worry about.
Actually, that’s handy to know. We’ve updated the tip instead of deleting it.
Sorry, I meant “does not cut off”…
This is great content, thank you Brian! Thank you for your service to the Field!
And thanks to you for helping us share this. For any of you that don’t know, Richard is our IT Services Director and the person who can help your church get a major discount on Zoom!
We stream our zoom to FaceBook where we have a closed church family group. Those who don’t want to be seen or deal with zoom, can still see the host and the participants and post comments. We share the lesson on the screen so if someone doesn’t have a quarterly they can still follow along.
Kristine, that’s a great streaming solution. I think the closures gave a lot of churches the “push” to explore the options for streaming and to discover things that will be useful after they reopen.
FYI ZOOM Sabbath School has been a great way for our Church to be involved with each other and focus on the 4 Objectives/Goals of Sabbath School. 1. Fellowship 2. Mission 3. Outreach 4. Bible Study. We have used the Breakout Rooms from Sabbath to Sabbath to maintain our A.C.T.I.O.N. Units during our time away from our Church Building. Currently we have 3 Units and are seeking ways to increase that number.