Using your Webcam and Zoom on your Desktop

You may have noticed that you have a shiny new webcam on your desktop at school.  Here are some things to know:

  1. The webcam/mic combo is connected to your desktop computer via USB (usually in the back of your computer)
  2. It should automatically be recognized by your computer and Zoom.
  3. If you’ve never used Zoom on your school desktop, you’ll need to install the Zoom app on your computer.  (We’ll walk through that in a minute).
  4. The camera/microphone may not be in an ideal location to capture the video and audio of the class.  What you can do about this is limited but I’ve got some tips for that.

Install Zoom

  1. Open your browser and go to zoom.us/download
  2. Click download under “Zoom Client for Meetings”.  The progress of the download will be shown in the lower left.
  3. Once it has finished downloading, click on it.  Then click Run.
  4. When Zoom has finished installing, it will automatically open.  Click sign in.
  5. Click “Sign in with Google”.  Select or login with your school Google account.

Check your audio & video

Once Zoom is installed and you are signed in, you can check that the video and audio are working as expected.  Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the settings gear in the upper right of the Zoom window.
  2. Click on “video” to view your video settings.  In the video preview screen you should see the video being picked up by the camera.  There are many additional settings under video.  Generally, if the picture looks good, you don’t need to mess with it.
  3. Next, let’s check on the audio. Click “Audio” on the left.  At the top you have the speaker settings.  Click “test speaker” and make sure you can hear the music being played.  Adjust the volume as necessary.
  4. Now, you should test the microphone input.  Zoom can automatically adjust your microphone volume so it is optimal for the meeting.  But, if you need to adjust it manually, uncheck “Automatically adjust microphone” and then adjust the slider.  Do not set it to maximum volume as the sound will be very distorted.
  5. Close the settings window when you are done.

Walkthrough Video

2 thoughts on “Using your Webcam and Zoom on your Desktop”

  1. HI Anthony. Thanks for the great tips. I’m just trying to get as prepared as possible for our hybrid learning. In the past, teachers have been restricted from downloading onto desktop computers in our classroom. Has this parameter been changed so that we are able to download the zoom program onto our desktops? Or will we have to submit a helpdesk ticket?

    1. Hi Robin! Great question. For some programs, it will just install without needing to get IT to come and enter an IT password. Try and install it yourself (it SHOULD work, I’ve done it on several computers). But, if you run into any trouble, yes, please submit a ticket. 🙂

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