3 Video Conferencing Tools for Online Teaching
Choosing the right video conferencing tool for your online lessons can be daunting.
What features to look out for? How many people can sit in a class and for how long? Do I need additional components to make it more efficient?
You are not alone. We have been in the same predicament. Not knowing what to do, we went out to find out more.
Our research led us to pick these three top brands. We scavenged the archives, and these are our findings.
Let's jump in.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool that accommodates up to 1000 users. It is easy to use with minimal technical requirements.
The instructor schedules a class sends out invitations to students who log in and join. Zoom helps students interact among themselves and their tutors.
Pros of Zoom
- Easy to use video conferencing tool with a clear and straightforward user interface.
- It's flexible in accessing it using the mobile or desktop versions.
- Screen sharing makes it easy for students and instructors to share progress.
- There are no barriers to access. All you need is the instructor's invite, and you are good to go.
- Users can record their meetings with cloud storage available.
Cons of Zoom
- The 40-minute session in the free version limits meetings that could extend for a longer time.
- The free version offers limited features, but you can upgrade to get more benefits at an expensive additional cost.
- Zoom requires users to register or download their application to join a meeting.
- The application does not support poor internet connection and disconnects users.
- Zoom limits users from saving their recordings through external cloud storage.
How Much Does Zoom Cost?
There are four plans to join.
You can try Zoom for free. The free version offers a maximum of 100 students with limited sessions of 40 minutes. It's appropriate for short classes or meetings. However, Zoom offers unlimited sessions for one on one meetings.
For $149.90 per year with nine license accounts, Zoom pro offers additional time sessions up to 30 hours. It allows for streaming via social media. At an additional fee, it accommodates up to 1000 participants
$199.90 per year with 10 Zoom business licenses and $240 per billed year with 50 licenses for the enterprise. Each offers 300 and 500 participants, respectively. The business option has transcripts with an option to manage it as a company. On the other hand, the enterprise offers business features and more, for instance, unlimited cloud storage.
The free version will offer the basic video conferencing service within a 40-minute limited session. The premium version offers more space, cloud storage capacity, and longer conference hours.
Compared to most other platforms, zoom is an excellent choice and has limited technical requirements.
2. GOOGLE MEET
Creating your online learning experience with Google Meet is fast and easy. If you have a Google Account, you can connect to up to 100 participants for 60 minutes per meeting.
You can customize the feel of your meeting by incorporating other Google products. Schedule a meeting using Google calendar. Get to send an email to other learners via G-mail or collaborate using chats.
Pros of Google Meet
- It's an easy and quick way to use with no downloads. Join a video call via Google Meet, Google Calendar, G-mail, etc. You do not need to have a Google account.
- Reliable support with clear troubleshooting guides.
- You can use captions during the meeting.
- Live stream and record your meeting.
- Engage and conduct polls with your audience.
- It's affordable
Cons of Google Meet
- The free version is limited to 100 participants per meeting.
- The space capacity doesn't work well with devices with small capacities.
- Favors working with Google Chrome.
Google Meet is a solid option for small to mid-sized organizations.
3. MICROSOFT TEAMS
Microsoft Teams offers numerous features and incorporates the Microsoft apps you are familiar with. These are tools like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel.
It can host up to 250 students.
Teams is another standard video conferencing app among schools. Office 365 is free for Microsoft account users and integrates all the other tools educators may already be using (Word, Powerpoint, Excel). This app can support a maximum of 250 people on each call. Additionally, it provides reliable privacy and data security for users, making it safe to operate. Teams primarily target businesses, but some of its features like background blurring and AI-powered noise suppression are still useful for schools as it helps create a more conducive learning environment. Check out more details on Microsoft's website.
Pros of Pressfolios
- A clean page design contains a header, stories (your samples), and an About section.
- You can organize your stories by section (aka niche).
- Full-text backup of your stories (as part of the paid service).
Cons of Pressfolios
- Free for a 14-day trial only.
- You can only upload PDFs with the Pro version at $14.99/month.
Cost of Pressfolios
- 14-day free trial. The Lite version costs $9.99/month for up to 250 stories. The Pro version is $14.99/month and includes unlimited stories, privacy options, custom domain names, and allows you to upload PDFs.
This option is best for journalists and reporters as the concept of "stories" may not fit your writing niche, especially if you're a copywriter.
You've gone through the essential components of these three video conferencing tools for online learning.
You better understand what to look for in video conferencing software, especially for online teaching.
We hope you've learned some useful information to help you make the right choice.