COMPUTER 101–Video Chats

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

One of the hardest things currently is the lack of human interaction. If you have a smart phone or tablet or laptop with a camera, here are some tips. I will address FaceTime, Skype and Zoom. These are all free communication tools you can use across the entire planet. No germs allowed.

How to place a call via FaceTime: Both caller and receiver must have FaceTime and Group FaceTime-supported Apple devices to use the application. To make a standard call, go to Settings/FaceTime and ensure the feature is enabled. Facetime is only for Apple devices. Either tap on a previous call or the plus symbol to enter the name of your contact, phone number or email. Press Audio or Video to begin your call. To add an existing contact, tap the plus sign or tap the To: box and begin typing in a name, phone number or email address. To add a new contact, type the person’s info in the To: box. You can add up to 31 people per conversation.

Skype is very similar, but anyone can use it including Apple and Android or one of each. If you don’t already have the free app on your device, you will have to download it. Video calls are free, but you will need a subscription to make a standard call to a mobile or landline. Stick to the free video calls. Find the person you want to call from your contacts list. Select the contact you want to call, and then select the video button. If you want to make a group call, simply add another participant. At the end of a call, select the end call button to hang up.

To initiate a group call, select the new call button. Select all the participants you want to call. Select the Call button. Note: For any group calls with more than 25 participants, they will be ringless. The group will receive a notification that the call has started and can select the Join Call button when they’re ready. For video calls with less than 25 participants, when you start a video call, you can choose whether you want the call to ring everyone in the group or be ringless. Ringless calls will send a notification to participants without interrupting them with a ring and if anyone needs a little extra “nudge,” you have the option to ring them individually.

Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Their solution offers the best video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across multiple platforms. Download the software and sign in to Zoom by creating a username and password (sorry). After signing in, you will see the Home tab, where you can click these options: New Meeting: Start an instant meeting. Click the downwards arrow to enable video or use your personal meeting ID (PMI) for instant meetings. Join a meeting that is in progress. Schedule: Set up a future meeting. Share your screen in a Zoom Room by entering in the sharing key or meeting ID. You will establish your own profile and choose from many formats including hiding from a conference. This software was developed for groups, but you can certainly use it for one-on-one calls. If you are the host of a group, you can have your participants appear in smaller windows. Online training and business meetings are a breeze with Zoom.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes:
New classes with be held throughout 2020 as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad.
If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested,
please call the Senior Center
and ask for Susan Jenelle. Limited seating is filling fast so call ASAP to reserve your spot.

I Make House Calls:
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. This Stay Home Order should end at some point. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at
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Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to
or call her for assistance at
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.

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