What is Zoom?

Zoom is the video conferencing tool you’ll use to participate in a live, interactive online OLLI course at its scheduled time. 

Do I need to have a Zoom account to attend an OLLI livestream class or event?

YES. You must have a Zoom account — and be logged into your Zoom account — to access all OLLI courses and events. This is a UC Berkeley requirement designed to help keep campus classes and events hosted on Zoom safe and secure. 

I already have a Zoom account. Do I need to create a new one just for OLLI?

NO. If you already have a Zoom account, you're set! That's all you need.

I don't have a Zoom account. How do I set one up?

It's easy and FREE!

  • Create a free Zoom account here on the Zoom website, if you do not already have one. (Click the orange "Sign Up, It's Free" button on the Zoom home page.) It takes only a minute to set up.
  • Review this How-To Guide: Creating a Zoom Account (thank you to the UC Retirement Center for creating this helpful doc.)
  • If you have a Zoom account but haven't used it recently it might be a good idea to log in before the class to make sure you remember your Zoom password.
  • If you have multiple Zoom accounts, be sure to log in under the account and email you used to register for the event you are attending.

Is a Zoom account the same thing as an OLLI account? 

NO. They are two separate things. Your OLLI password, which you use to log into your OLLI account, is different than your Zoom password. 

What equipment do I need to use Zoom?

You need one of these:

  • Computer (desktop or laptop, Mac or Windows)
  • Smartphone (iPhone or Android)
  • Tablet (any)

Optional equipment — not required, but nice to have:

  • Headphones with a microphone: This will let you hear and be heard more clearly. Simple headphones you’d use with your phone will do the trick. Again, this is optional.

Click here for a 1-minute video about testing your equipment.

How do I join my Zoom livestream class?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about accessing your Zoom livestream courses, and much more.

Is there something I should do before the start of my first class?

  • First time Zoom users should do this before the start of their first class:
    • Laptop and Desktop users: The first time you click on the Zoom link (detailed above) it will download a free and secure program to your computer, which you then install. Follow the prompts. If you want to get a head start on it, go here now, then click “download” under “Zoom Client for Meetings”.
    • Smartphone and Tablet users: Download the free and secure Zoom app — Zoom.us — from your app store.
  • Please note: You only have to install Zoom once. If you’ve already downloaded Zoom for any other purpose — a book club, a family chat, anything — you’re set. No need to download Zoom again.

Click here for a 1-minute video about joining Zoom.

Anything else I should know about my Zoom classes?

  • You’ll be admitted into the classroom a few minutes before the start of class. 
  • All students are muted in the classroom. That means you’ll hear the instructor and only the instructor. If called upon during a Q & A, you will be unmuted to ask your question. Or you can ask a question in the Chat box. 
  • Zoom offers lots of choices for how to view the class, which is nice but also potentially intimidating. Remember: All you really have to do is set up your Zoom account, click the Zoom link provided in your Member Dashboard, input your personal Zoom account ID and password (if requested), and enjoy. Everything else is gravy, as they say.
  • That said, Zoom offers many tutorials to help enhance your Zoom experience. 
  • Zoom offers 45-minute live webinars for new users. Learn more and sign up here.
  • Here’s a helpful article on how to launch Zoom from your web browser.
  • The mobile version of the app on iPhone, iPad and Android offers a simplified version of the online Zoom platform, and the main tabs are found at the bottom: Meet & Chat, Meetings, Contacts, and Settings. (The setup is slightly different due to limited space.) Go to your app store to download Zoom.us.

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