What we can do about Zoom problems

No matter how many classes I teach, the internet can still rear its ugly head now and then and make things more chaotic than I'd like, so this is a post about what we can do to minimise problems online. To provide as much (remote) tech support as I can, there is also a help page on my website, which can offer further guidance.

Sometimes things like frozen screen or haphazard sound affect only one or two participants. Sometimes the whole class gets thrown out of zoom and we have to find our way back in and continue where we left off. More often than not, no big disasters occur and everyone carries on as normal. But when technical problems arise, they can spoil our enjoyment of the class. If you find that technical issues have meant that that you've not been able to enjoy the class, you do not have to pay for it. Just let me know at the end of the month when you make your payment.

In nearly all cases, it is very hard to pinpoint what is behind sound and picture quality reduction. Paul and I are looking into further upgrading our broadband in the hope that paying more will help.

However, unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much logic to the situation. What is fine one morning does not work the next, and this suggests it is out of our hands to some extent.

So, here are some things we can do to reduce the likelihood of technical problems:

  1. Make sure you have put your device somewhere that has a good wi-fi signal and no other devices (phones etc) are using your wi-fi at the same time as the class.

  2. Check weekly that the version of Zoom on your device is up-to-date. There is a blog post about how to do that here.

  3. Please give yourself plenty of time to join the class; don't switch on your device at 9:55. To give you time to notice and sort out any possible tech problems your end, such as Windows/Zoom updates or your wi-fi playing up, I suggest you plug in and switch on your device well before each class, say 9:30AM. This doesn't mean you have to sit in front of it for half an hour, just switch it on, go online, click on the link at https://www.fitnesswithalison.com/online-classes and you will find yourself in the waiting room. You can now go about whatever tasks you like, get the hoover out, etc, and you will be let in at 10:00, so just come back to the screen then. I don't have my phone on when I'm teaching, or when setting the class up online, as it interrupts the wi-fi signal, so if you need to get in touch, please do so before 9:45AM. 

  4. Before I let you into the class at 10:00, you can use any time in the waiting room to check your computer's audio settings (speaker and microphone). Make sure the volume on your device is set to loud. You can always turn it down.

  5. If you want to tell me you are having audio or video problems you will need to unmute your microphone and alert me once the routine has finished.

  6. If you encounter persistent technical problems during the class, such as a permanent lack of sound, or frozen screen, try leaving the class and re-joining as soon as you can. I will let you back into the class as soon as possible.

  7. Sometimes Zoom fails on a big scale and this can affect millions of people. To check whether all Zoom's systems are fully operational, click here

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance. Together we can beat the internet and keep exercising no matter what!

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