Technology Platforms for Virtual Sessions

Zoom: LNC’s virtual sessions are based on the Zoom platform. Please see instructions below for setting up and managing your Zoom account. 

GroupMe: GroupMe is a group texting app and online tool than many LNC participants find useful for keeping in touch throughout the program year and beyond.  See below for more details on GroupMe.

Other Tools: At various points you may also be asked to view YouTube content or use web-based tools such as Google Forms and Poll Everywhere and Kahoot!  It is not necessary to create accounts for these other tools–access to a web browser or your cell phone or a tablet is all you will need.  We will share links as needed during session programming. 

It will be helpful to have access to a second device–a cell phone or a tablet.  Many participants find having access to Word or a notes app during sessions useful–and also good, old-fashioned pen and paper.



During Orientation, Maggie shared an invitation to join your class’s group in the GroupMe platform.  GroupMe offers group texting through an app and online.  Using GroupMe is not required, but most participants find this a useful tool for staying in touch.  Feel free to set up your own groups as well.  For example, some Learning Teams create their own groups, and local/regional groups are also useful.

Some GroupMe tips:

  • You can receive GroupMe messages via text, but the app makes them easier to manage
  • You can adjust the frequency and type of notifications in the app settings

Note that the LNC team will be members of your class group on GroupMe but do not monitor the conversation regularly.  If you have a question or an important update to share with the team, it’s always better to text, email, or call one of us directly.  If you have questions about GroupMe, please contact Maggie at


Poll Everywhere

We will use Poll Everywhere in various ways throughout the program year.  The tool can be used through a browser or through texting.  Texting is simplest, with instructions included below:

  1. Open a new text message
  2. Enter “22333” as the phone number you’re sending a message to.
  3. Enter “Kellyturner183” as the text of your message.
  4. Hit send.
  5. This should connect you to the LNC poll account. You only have to follow the steps above once per LNC session.  Then, every time we launch a new poll, just type your answer as a new message in that text thread and it will automatically connect to the poll we have open at that time.


Zoom Tips and Protocols

Getting Started

Be sure you’ve set up your Zoom account and kicked the tires a bit before each session.

  1. If you do not already have a Zoom account, create one here. The free account will meet all needs for the LNC program–there is no need to set up a paid account but you are welcome to use one if you already have it.
  2. Zoom overview for new users can be found here.
  3. Make sure your Zoom profile name includes your first and last name (feel free to include your pronouns), and upload a profile picture.  The profile picture will be shown any time you are logged into Zoom but your camera is turned off.
  4. Test audio, microphone, and camera prior to Orientation.


Technical Assistance

  1. If you have technical issues when setting up your Zoom account or any time during the program year outside of session hours, notify the LNC Team.
  2. If you have trouble accessing the Zoom call during session programming, text Emily Smith with LNC at (919) 538-4693.


Logging On and Best Practices

  1. A unique Zoom link will be shared for each program segment.  Links are available through each session page of the Class Portal and on your session agendas.
  2. Join 5 minutes before start time for each program segment.  
  3. You will start in a waiting room and be automatically admitted when the event begins.  Content will begin promptly at the designated start time for each segment.
  4. Stay muted unless you are speaking.
  5. Keep your camera on during session programming.  If you need to step away briefly, mute your camera and microphone but do not log off the meeting.
  6. Try to participate from a quiet environment.  Occasionally the LNC team will mute participants if mics are left on and background noise interferes with session content.
  7. For some segments you will be asked in advance to have certain materials available. Sometimes this will be just pen and paper.  Other times, you will be asked to print out or have access to documents or websites sent to you before session.
  8. Whenever possible, have access to a web browser and Word or a notes app during session. 


Changing Your Name During a Meeting

  1. Click on the participants option at the bottom of the Zoom meeting window.
  2. Hover your mouse over your name in the participants menu and select More and Rename.
  3. Enter your name in Firstname Lastname format.  Feel free to include your pronouns.
  4. Occasionally you will be asked to change your name format based on program content. 


Recommended Zoom View During a Meeting

  1. During Zoom meetings, generally use the Gallery view.
  2. Gallery view will allow you to see your class members and scroll through pages of participants.
  3. During presentation segments, you will only see and hear the program presenter(s).


During Breaks

  1. Stay logged in to the Zoom meeting.
  2. Mute your microphone.
  3. Turn off your camera–this will default to show your profile picture.
  4. Return promptly as instructed, turning your camera back on to indicate you are back and ready to resume programming.


Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

  1. Zoom offers you the option to create a virtual background.  You may choose to set up a virtual background or to show your real background.
  2. For guidance on setting up a virtual background, click here to watch a short video from Zoom.
  3. During some program segments, you will be asked to change to a background image provided by LNC to enhance the program experience.



  1. Use of the chat feature will be encouraged during virtual program sessions to engage with session content, gain feedback and insights from participants, and suggest resources to expand the program experience.
  2. Opportunities will be provided for participants to network during the session programming.



  1. The Zoom polling feature will be used during program sessions to incorporate content and to gain feedback and insights from participants.
  2. Unless otherwise notified, polling will be conducted anonymously.
  3. External polling tools may also be incorporated in some sessions, with instructions provided as needed.


Breakout Sessions

  1. The breakout room feature will be used during program sessions to allow participants to collaborate in small groups or learning teams and facilitate session programming.
  2. Participants will be automatically moved to breakout sessions by the LNC team.
  3. For assistance during a breakout session, select the “help” button to contact the LNC team.
  4. Participants will be notified before they are returned to the main Zoom room at the conclusion of breakout session.


Interaction with Presenters and Classmates

  1. Each presenter will share guidance for how he or she likes to manage Q&A and interaction with the group. Please follow their instructions.
  2. Keep all communication respectful, constructive, and consistent with the LNC Program Protocols.
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