Virtual tips and shortcuts when using Zoom and Citrix


[ Stephanie Baldwin, 2L at the University of Arizona ]

We are all starting to settle into what is the new norm with our online classes, and remote workplaces. Depending on how you learn, these classes can either be horrible or a blessing. For me, I like the ability to go back and review classes and update my notes, for others, it is a struggle. The same applies to working at home, while some people struggle, others have discovered how productive you can be.

No matter what you think about online learning or working from home, here are some shortcuts and tips to make your time online a bit more enjoyable.

Spice Up Your Surroundings with a Virtual Background

Stephanie using a background

I am a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, so I have enjoyed attending class from the headmaster’s office, the quidditch pitch and yes, making my inner Hermione proud by attending from the Hogwarts library. I know this may seem silly, but it really does brighten my mood. Any image will work. You can even create your own. But Twitter never fails and searching “zoom background” will give you a lot of inspiration.

Here are also a few of my favorites:

If you are a Disney Fan check these out:

Use Both Screens with Remote Software

About a week in to working from home I realized how reliant I had become on having two screens at work. I was really struggling, as I usually use the “quartile system” to organize my work. I quickly realized if I was going to be successful at home, I needed another monitor. So, after a LSAT tutoring session (yes, I still tutor people for the LSAT), I decided to use that newly found money to buy an extra monitor. I found a deal on Amazon for a 21-inch monitor for only $80 and wow it has helped a ton. What’s been even better though, is that I figured out how to make use of BOTH screens (my laptop screen and my new monitor) when I am in my virtual work environment. This allows me to use both screens just like I do at work, for the cost of one.

First, set your computer to have your second monitor in the “extend” viewing mode. Next open Citrix, or whatever remote client you are using. Once open, make it so this window is small and drag the remote screen in the “middle” of the two screens. This means that a portion of the window shows up on both screens. Now, in your remote screen go “full screen”. Voila, your remote screen now shows up on both screens just like would at work!

Zoom Host Key Feature

As more teachers are locking down Zoom with passwords, I have noticed an interesting trend that sometimes they are not automatically recognized as the host of the meeting. This is likely because they are using Zoom, both at work and to teach, and are not switching accounts as needed. Being the host is important because it allows the classes to be recorded. You can take ownership of a meeting with the “Host Key”. Your host key can be located on the “profile page” of Zoom. If you scroll to the bottom, you will see it. Click “show” to reveal your host key. You can also edit this key. Consider picking a secure number that only you know. Consider making your host key the same for every account you have. That way, if you are ever in the “wrong” account you can still claim the meeting with your host key. Again, be sure to not pick something obvious, to help keep the Zoom secure, but that is one thing you can do to simplify having multiple accounts.

I know there are a ton more tips that can help, be sure to share your favorite one with me over at the @The2LLife on Twitter and Instagram.

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