An explanation of how to use Zoom

During this difficult time Dot Sign Language want to do everything we can to support your BSL studies. For this reason we will be offering teaching through a video conferencing platform called Zoom.

Zoom is a recognised secure video streaming service. The first time you view the video window please check the top left hand corner. It should have a small padlock symbol. This means that your video chat is secure with end to end encryption.

You will be sent an invitation to a Zoom meeting with allocated times within your normal class time.

Do not worry if you have not used anything like this before, many people haven’t and we want to make it as straightforward as possible for you.

You will need a laptop / tablet with a camera set up so you have both hands free to sign.

Tablets and smartphones will need the Zoom app downloaded:

Via App Store:

Via Google Play:

You must reply to our email and give written permission regarding recording on Zoom before you can take part in a session.



Before each of your sessions your teacher – ‘The Host’ – will email a link from Zoom. Before you click on the link make sure there is nothing on your computers active screen that you don’t want people to see. (This will be explained later*.)

How to join a Zoom meeting








  • Click on the link to open the Zoom screen.

How to open Zoom

  • You may go straight through to the video chat or it might ‘pop up’ a box asking you to add in a meeting ID number. This number will be on the email you received. Once you enter the number you click and join the chat.

If you need to copy and paste the meeting ID

  • In the top right hand corner there is a view option box. You can switch between screen views but we recommend you click on ‘Gallery View’ in the top right so you can see your teacher and yourself. Adjust the position of your computer so your teacher can see your face and hands. Check lighting position too so you are not in shadow or in too much light.
  • Click on the toolbar to mute yourself. This is important to comply with our ‘voice off policy’. It is not fair on the Deaf teacher if students are having spoken conversations during the session.
  • At the bottom of the Zoom screen (not in full screen mode) you will have a tool bar. There is a chat icon box which when you click an instant message box will pop up on your screen. Depending on your laptop this will either be on the right hand side or in the middle. If it is blocking the view of the teacher you can move the box across the screen (it works well to drag it to one side.) In this chat area you and your teacher can type to communicate back and forth. This box will be used to ask you for permission to record the session if the teacher thinks it is valuable as a learning tool.
  • *If you see a pop up on the top bar of the video screen saying ‘you can view (name of person’s) screen’ please click ‘end participant sharing.’ This feature allows multiple people to view and share documents but we do not need this for your classes just yet. Once the teachers/students are more familiar with the system they may add power point views.
  • To end the video meeting you need to click the ‘End meeting’ box at the bottom right side of the screen.

The first time you use it have a play and practise. The worst that can happen is that the video will go off, just go back to the original email and click the link again.

Obviously we expect there to be some teething problems but don’t worry, stick with it and we will try and get you all comfortable and confident with using the system.

More information on how to use Zoom can be found here: