Up and Down on Zoom: Online Econometrics, Day 3

The plan going into today’s class was to spend the first 45 minutes working through new problems and the last 15 minutes introducing Stata, the software we’ll be using to actually analyze data. The problem solving went well. My handwriting is showing slight signs of improvement, and I’m getting better at managing my workspace. One key is to leave space on slides when I know I’ll be making notes or doing math.

At the 45 minute mark, my rapid cycling love/hate relationship with the Zoom video-conferencing software took over:

11:45am Zoom is great! I’ve just cranked through 4 interesting problems as if everyone were in the same room and not strewn about the country!

11:46am WTH? I’ve launched Stata, but when I try to share the screen, it doesn’t even show up as a choice! How can I teach a piece of software if the class can’t see it?

11:50am Fine, I’ll describe Stata on the whiteboard, and do the actual walk-through on Monday when the problem is resolved.

12:00pm In office hours, a question came up about the online quiz. I shared my web browser screen and solved the problem by annotating the window. We realized the quiz contained the wrong answer and fixed it right there. Cool!

12:25pm Drat. I forgot to press the button to record the live session again. I really wish I could set up the software to automatically do this.

12:30pm WTH? I called Zoom tech support to resolve the Stata screen sharing issue, and immediately got “The voicemail for this number is full–please call again later.”

3:00pm Sigh. Zoom’s support number is still unavailable. I tried chatting with their support on the web site and no one answered there either. I left a message through the site.

I have no doubt that eventually Zoom will get back to me. I am even cautiously optimistic that we can figure out why Stata isn’t sharing and come up with a fix. Unfortunately it’s not looking good for getting an answer before my next class on Monday. This is the downside of working on the cutting edge of technology.