Excellent! The time has been set, forum members, for TONIGHT at 4 pm PST, which is 6 pm CDT, (and other times other places!) I am thinking that I'll have you PM me for the link to the meeting. Everyone is welcome, but it seems weird to me to just post the link out in the open ... I haven't set up the meeting yet, so don't PM me yet, unless you have another reason to PM me.
No, I do not need to pay to host the meeting. I have a free basic membership. I knew I wanted it to be my platform for meeting with my students starting this Monday, so I signed up. Later, my school district got some sort of district license, but my membership is still just the free basic one. Zoom has kindly extended its meeting length limits to educators. Each meeting for basic memberships used to be limited to 40 minutes, but now educators can hold meetings as long as they like.
For our "virtual playdate" tonight, I'm thinking we should plan for an hour with option to go longer if desired. I'm planning to get Shama sitting in a recliner with the camera facing her so that she can actually host the meeting. I will set it up so that you enter the meeting with your microphones muted and your video off. Then, after you decide who you want to be on your screen and what you want your background to me, you can turn on your video. You are welcome to participate even without turning on your video feed, but what fun would that be for the rest of us? We want to see your dog!
Speaking of backgrounds, you can choose a background from a few choices provided by Zoom, or you can upload a background. The photo I uploaded for my background is a picture from our honeymoon/10-year wedding anniversary when we were in Damouchari, Greece, the village where they shot "Dancing Queen" in the movie "Mamma Mia." (See second video at the following link if interested.)
I might let you see into our house, though, depending on how still Shama will sit for the camera (pretty still, as long as I keep the treats coming!)
I'm not sure if you have to be a member of Zoom to have access to the backgrounds. You need not be a member to join tonight's meeting, but you might want to become a member for free just to have more options and to be able to host your family and friends for all sorts of online meetings.
As a courtesy, please keep your microphones muted unless you want to say something. That will especially be helpful if the dogs start barking. Even I will be keeping my microphone muted unless I'm talking.
Any questions? Post them in this thread.