Video conferencing platforms help online teachers interact with their students more efficiently via microphone and camera, but contrary to popular belief, they are not made equal. Every platform is uniquely structured, which is why you should analyze your function before choosing one.
Zoom’s Engaging Experience
Zoom and Skype are two of the most utilized video conferencing tools in the world, as they provide a variety of innovative features. Even so, Zoom has become the preferred platform for numerous online educators across the country, including me, as the features that it comes with provides students with a more engaging experience. It currently is being utilized by more than 5,300 educational institutions around the globe!
Zoom Was Designed with Educators in Mind
In the past, I have used Skype, but I decided to stop using it due to it being primarily designed for everyday communication purposes, not for online educators to conduct lessons. Fortunately, I found Zoom, which was created with educators in mind. I always utilize this platform to create organized virtual classrooms and conduct group projects. It comes along with MPEG-4 cloud recording, closed captioning, audio sharing during screen sharing, chat, group messaging, mobile collaboration with co-annotation, among many other features to help make the most of the lessons. I personally have not used all of these features, but it is good to know that they are there, ready to be used, when I find it appropriate.
Introduced in 2011, Zoom is an innovative tool but yet very simple to utilize. On the other hand, Skype can take a little longer to get the hang of for both online teachers and students alike because no aspect of it was designed for educational purposes.
The Zoom platform has always been geared toward educators and businesses, which is one of the main reasons why it is higher quality than Skype and many other video conferencing structures available on the market.
There have been several updates that have been conducted after its release, which have made it even more efficient. For one, video conferencing has been simplified to provide a clearer image. The delivery of lessons is now more engaging than ever before. Since the creators of Zoom are always on the lookout for the latest technologies in order to implement them, it is common to notice updates being performed a few times a year. Unlike other platforms, when updates are taking place, no type of interruption occurs while I teach.
When you opt for the Basic Plan, which has a capacity of fifty people, Zoom is 100% free to use. An upgrade will be required if your virtual classroom has more than three students and is going to take longer than forty minutes. In this instance, your best option would be the Pro Plan. On the other hand, if you are going to only teach one student, no upgrade is necessary as you can teach without limits.
A stable connection is a must when teaching online. The creators of Zoom know this, which is why they have ensured that the connection of this platform remains stable throughout every lesson that you conduct. This is a pro that cannot be mentioned about Skype because the experts behind it have never focused on this aspect. This is one of the main reasons why Skype has never been promoted as an ideal video conferencing aid for online educators.
With Zoom, screen sharing can be established on an iPhone or iPad. As you already know, these types of high-tech devices should be avoided when teaching, but this feature can be used on them when solely providing notifications throughout the week.
Zoom, which provides Chrome OS and Linux support, also allows you to send files during lessons, send invitations, take screenshots, create groups, lock meetings, and mute or unmute participants.
Students cannot create an account or share contact information on Zoom. An email invitation containing the link to the virtual classroom that you have created will be sent to them. Clicking on the link will transfer them to the room, which can be active before a lesson is conducted.
As previously mentioned, it is important to analyze the function of a video conferencing platform before officially selecting it; therefore, you should get a better feel of what Zoom is all about by trying the available demo. By doing so, you will quickly realize why Zoom is the go-to option for numerous online teachers and businesses around the globe.
Do not take my word for it! Go ahead and put Zoom to the test. Play with it to see how it functions. Since it is free, you have nothing to lose other than a more engaging virtual classroom for your students.