Best Video Conferencing Apps For Teachers – Pandemic or not, we have to agree that online education is becoming a trend that is here to stay. Students are picking up extra online courses to learn new skills, while teachers are also becoming personal tutors by teaching people virtually from a distance. Other than that, video conferencing in general is becoming increasingly common amongst teachers, schools, and administrative individuals for a safe and time-efficient form of communication.
If your school or college is conducting online or hybrid classes, you will need a reliable video conferencing app. Even if you are going to host webinars and have guests hold a discussion virtually, a stuttering video or insufficient features of a conferencing app can be embarrassing. To avoid such blunders and ensure a smooth online session is conducted, try switching to one of the following best video conferencing apps.
Google has already expanded itself into different industries and provides solutions of all kinds. It is an extended version of Google hangouts, made for larger teams and collaborative environments. Meet video conferencing app lets hosts schedule meetings before the actual time. You can distribute the meeting link amongst your students before the actual start time, so there is no delay. Moreover, there are many competitive features such as a maximum call duration of 300 hours, which is more than enough for any course! You can accommodate up to 250 attendants in one call, which means a class of 30-40 people will not even be close to the limit and there will be no stuttering or such issues.
Zoom has a paid and a free version. With the free version, your calls can not last for longer than 40 minutes, after which you will have to pay for the call or restart the meeting. This is quite inconvenient, and sadly, the free version has very limited features. However, Zoom is very popular due to its plans that are rich with many useful features. You will find different plans to suit your specific needs. Teachers as well as by enterprises who need multiple hosts for their conference meetings can use Zoom for seamless connection.
Big Blue Button
Any platform that has to offer teachers and students more than just a virtual meeting is a must-have for online education. Big Blue Button is the best choice you can make as it integrates features like white boards and virtual collaborative teams. In fact, it was made specifically for the purpose of online education, but is now used for many other purposes such as for business meetings.
The most beneficial feature of this app is its integration with LMS, which is again a learning and online education management tool that can make things so much more organized for teachers. You can avail all these features on the open-source, free of cost Big Blue Button. Other features like screen sharing, video recording and breakout rooms for teams and group work make this platform the best overall.
If you are already using tools like Microsoft Word, Excel and Microsoft Office 365 account, then Microsoft Teams is the best app for you. Not only it is free for Office 365 users, but it also has many incredible features to offer. The best part is that it is integrated with platforms like Word and PowerPoint, so teaching through these tools will be a breeze for you. In each call, you can accommodate up to 250 people, which is more than enough. One very significant feature MS Teams has its AI-generated noise cancellation technology that enhances audio quality.
Tips for conducting a smooth online class
You must get yourself a super-fast internet that will not hinder the video streams. A speed of up to 300 Mbps or more than enough for video conferencing. There are a bunch of cheap internet plans available in the market that you can check out and find the most appropriate internet speed and data cap for yourself. Fiber optic internet is a really good choice for this purpose, as it will remain unaffected by power issues and also has great speeds.
Many people simply rely on their laptop’s webcam for video calls and online conferences. You must first check if your laptop’s webcam is functional, as some older model’s webcams give up on them and don’t work properly. Moreover, the webcam’s quality can be quite low, which can be a demotivating factor for your students who are also your viewers and need some visual aid while hearing you give them a lecture. Therefore, try to invest in a separate, higher quality webcam, so you can conduct classes more efficiently. A good webcam doesn’t have to cost too much. You can buy a simple webcam from Amazon and connect to your laptop via USB cable or Bluetooth connection.
While all laptops are meant to have a built-in mic, just like webcams, they can give up on you at the last minute. While an external mic is not an absolute necessity as long as you have a properly functioning mic in the laptop, they sure can be a great back up. These mics are not very expensive, and are rather compact and portable, so you can take them anywhere with you. Secondly, these mics have much clearer audio than the built-in ones. So, if your students have complained about unclear audio before, you can definitely switch to an external mic.
Don’t forget to get yourself all set for online education with an affordable yet fast speed internet plan from buytvinternetphone. Having the right application installed in your systems, along with appropriate hardware, camera and mic can enhance the quality of online education. This is how things will be from now, as digital transformation slowly takes over every aspect of our life. Adapting to this transformation is the best way to refrain from any bad consequences, such as poor class environment and poor learning.
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