Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Slice of Life 2020: 24 of 31- Teaching my mom to use Zoom

March is for daily slicing, and all are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

"You can do this," I said to my mom. "We can get you hosting a virtual cocktail hour with your neighbors using Zoom."

From my office two towns over, I could envision her jaw tightening. I really hoped this would work. 

"Get your computer, though," I said. "Not your phone. It's better on a bigger screen."

I held on as she got her laptop open. It's actually a fairly new Air, and it's fast. I didn't think it would be tough to get started, but I had to coach her through opening Chrome and not just her email. Once she was on Chrome, I sent her a text with the link to the Zoom meeting.

"I can get texts on my computer?" she said. 

It took a little time to get her down to the toolbar where she realized that the speech caption and three dots was the icon for texting. It took a little more time to explain how she could open a message. I had time. We'd get this. 

Once she opened the Zoom invitation, the fun started. She got on, and her face showed up on my screen. (Her jaw was tight.) I smiled at her, and she smiled back. (Her jaw loosened up.)

"Look at you, Mom," I said. "You're in a Zoom meeting."

By having her share her screen and sending a few pictures over texts, I was able to help her navigate how she too could do a few tricks in a Zoom meeting. After about ten minutes she was done, though. 

"So you have homework," I said. "Keep practicing texting on your computer, and send me an invite before you come for dinner."

I didn't get an invite. Maybe she's reading this post, though, and maybe she'll be inspired to send me a text message from her computer. 

Here's the thing. My mom's a smart person, and I had a lot of time to help. I even figured out how to do some screen-sharing and help her through. There are a lot of teachers with some big learning curves ahead of them. Some really big learning curves. 


  1. True, but it could be great. Nothing like a pandemic to push people to learn new things.:)

  2. "There are a lot of teachers with some big learning curves ahead of them. Some really big learning curves." And I'm one of them!! I am planning on retiring in June and this mountain seems very steep. I'm proud of your mom!

  3. What a great idea! My mom is so social; she would love to ¨hostess¨ a cocktail party with friends. I will first do this with her and my kids then I will show her, so she can try. I must be as patient with her as my colleagues are with me as I struggle with the technology. I have learned about 4 different platforms in four days.

  4. We are all in a position to do some new learning-the teacher in you was put to good use with your mom. You've opened some new doors for her now. I hope we will all keep growing, learning, teaching, and sharing in whatever ways we can during this time. Kudos to your mom!

  5. I love this! I love your use of parentheses for your mom's jaw. I also love how you connected it to teaching at the very end. Everyone needs to embrace your mom's willingness to trying new things!