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Online Teaching Platforms Like Zoom

With Zoom, you have the opportunity to not only host live conferences and meetings, but pre-record your sessions as well. Plus, you can easily utilize the whiteboard tools, breakout rooms, and screen sharing features. These are all excellent ways to disseminate information and track student progress.

Online teaching apps like Zoom and Google Meet enable us to continue with some semblance of our everyday lives, even if we remain in quarantine or are practicing social distancing. For students and teachers, online courses have become the norm as schools have shut down across the globe.

As of now, there are only so many online teaching platforms that can be used without making a payment. One such platform which can come to your rescue is Zoom. Also, there are some other options available in the market, if you want to conduct online classes using webcam. This article will guide you through the process of finding the best option.

Zoom video conferencing is a favorite tool among many businesses, remote workers, and teachers. But sometimes Zoom isn’t the best option for your situation. If you’re looking for alternatives to Zoom or just want to learn more about online teaching apps, check out this collection of online teaching platforms like Zoom.

What Is The Best Way To Stream For Teachers?

The big idea here is helping students learn and live streaming of video is an important part of that. What’s the best way for teachers to stream video content to their students?

Well, it depends. Which of these alternatives to zoom work best for you depends on your needs and factors including your budget, your expertise, how long you’ll be using the video streaming platform for teaching, the grade level and content area you teach, your privacy and security concerns, the bandwidth of your students, and so on.

Clearly, there is no ‘best’–and many of the choices below will reflect that. Some are built primarily for business use but could work well in a classroom. Others, like Twitch and Facebook Live aren’t purely ‘alternatives to zoom’ and certainly weren’t created for teachers but absolutely could function in a classroom in the right context, not to mention for university teachers, online tutoring, and more.

 Google Meet

Description: Google’s video meeting tool that integrates with Gmail and, while limited compared to Zoom, has its applications.

Pricing: Free

Crikle

One of the newer video conferencing platforms, Crikle was created more for sales and branding but its simple interface and customizable (at certain subscription levels) branding make it perfectly usable in many educational settings as well.

Pricing: Starting ~$50/mo

 Skype

Description: Microsoft’s video calling platform that can be used via mobile app through web browsers. It has stream recording, live subtitles, and also can be used for phone calls as well.

Skype has been around since 2003, and it’s still among the most popular video chat tools that are available today.

Chances are pretty good that you’ve already used it to talk to family members or friends from around the world at some point.

It’s a good Zoom alternative for live class instructors who have a smaller group of students. While Skype allows for up to 50 people in a single call, it also limits you to only 250 people on your contact list at a time.

So if you have more than 250 customers, you may want to look at other platforms.

Otherwise, you’ll be constantly at your cap and needing to add or delete people.

As long as all of your students also download Skype, it’s completely free to connect with them to teach live online classes through the platform.

Skype is a great choice if you’re on a budget and just need a basic video presentation or lecture.

The platform offers HD video and crystal clear audio, as long as everyone in the call has a decent internet connection.

You can also use Skype’s instant messaging features to communicate with students between your live classes, hold group chats, and more.

If you just want the basics, then Skype is a great choice.

Although it won’t allow you to do any extras like screen sharing, recording your meetings, enable live captions or subtitles, or other options that are available in more advanced webinar software.

Pricing: Free

Demio

screenshoot of Demio

Now we are starting to get into the more paid and full-featured webinar software.

Demio is among the best Zoom Alternatives for teaching live online classes that’s available today.

Some other webinar platforms have fallen behind the times. They can look and feel a bit outdated. But Demio stays modern and up to date.

Unlike more basic platforms, Demio offers a lot of flexibility. You can make both live and pre-recorded webinars available for your students.

So if someone misses your live class, you can give them the option to go back and watch it later.

If you’re looking for more advanced features, Demio has you covered. You get access to things like call-to-action buttons, the ability to run live polling, sharing documents live, Q&A sessions, and more.

Behind the scenes, Demio also gives you access to an analytics page to see how your webinar s are performing.

If you’re looking for marketing and sales tools to expand your client base, Demio is the webinar platform that I’d most recommend as well. Most other Zoom alternatives on this list lack these features.

Check out this article for a side by side comparison of Demio vs Zoom.

Unlike platforms like Skype or Google Hangouts, your students don’t need to even sign up for any software to participate, and can take part through their web browser.

Demio offers a free 14-day trial, but eventually you will need to pay to keep your access.

The platform has several plans to choose from.

The Starter plan for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs who are just getting started is $34 per month if you pay annually, and allows for up to 50 attendees to your webinar.

Or you can go all the way up to the $163 per month Business plan for growing companies who need 500 attendees and up to 4 webinar hosts.

Right now, Demio is offering 50% off any of their plans due to COVID-19 for any educational institutions or nonprofit organizations.

BlueJeans

Description: Verizon’s video and remote meeting platform is designed to offer simple and secure video meeting with meeting calendars, browser functionality, sidechat, and screensharing.

Pricing: Plans start at $9.99/mo

Pedagogue

Pedagogue is a new social learning management system that can be used to hold virtual classes with students worldwide. This innovative app has various other convenient and helpful features. For example, it can be used as a central location for accessing material and developing content. 

Cisco Webex Meetings, Cisco Jabber, And Cisco Webex Teams

Cisco Webex MeetingsCisco Jabber, and Cisco Webex Teams can all be used to create a virtual classroom with your students. More so, they are perfect for video conferencing calls and screen sharing. 

These three platforms are all optimized for a quick response, meaning that you will not lag during your online lessons. Many businesses and schools are using these apps for their interactive needs

GoToMeeting, Zoho Meeting, GlobalMeet Collaboration, BlueJeans Meetings, And Google Hangouts Meet

GoToMeetingZoho MeetingGlobalMeet CollaborationBlueJeans Meetings, and Google Hangouts Meet are all optimized for a quick response. Millions of companies and schools have turned to these platforms for online classes and meetings. 

Similarly to Zoom, these apps allow for video conferencing calls and screen sharing. They are all straightforward to use and perfect for maintaining communication and collaboration outside of the physical classroom. 

Join.me, EzTalks, Fuze And Whereby

Similarly to the other platforms, Join.meEzTalksFuze, and Whereby are all optimized for a quick response. These apps can be used for video conferencing calls and screen sharing, making them perfect for online classes. 

Adobe Connect, Blackboard Collaborate, UberConference, And Lifesize

Adobe ConnectBlackboard CollaborateUberConference, and Lifesize are all web conferencing solutions that can be used for online meetings, e-learning, and webinars. It is important to note that these apps are not optimized for a quick response, meaning you might have to deal with some lagging while communicating with your students. 

Microsoft Teams, Skype, And TeamViewer

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365. It can be used to bring people from all over the world together, and it is perfect for online learning and meetings. 

Skype is a top-rated communication app that many people are familiar with. It is effortless to use, but it does require an excellent internet connection. 

TeamViewer is also optimized for a quick response. Similarly to Zoom, this app enables video conferencing and screen sharing, making it perfect for online classes.

Live Streaming

Live streaming

Unlike the other items on this list, live streaming isn’t a specific video conferencing or webinar platform like Zoom. It’s a whole other category of digital communication on its own.

You can choose to livestream through various online platforms like Facebook LiveTwitch.tv, or YouTube. Some software even enables you to stream across multiple platforms at once, to give you an even wider reach.

One huge benefit of live streaming is that it allows you to reach a wider audience besides the students who currently take your class in-person.

Your online class will show up as a recommendation to the millions of random users on these sites, which could significantly grow your audience.

That makes live streaming either a great replacement for your classes altogether, or a way to generate a side income in addition to your regular classes.

You can grow a following of Youtube subscribers or Facebook fans to later market your classes to in the future.

Live streaming allows your students to support you through monthly subscriptions to your livestream. However, there are other ways to monetize a livestream as well.Most live streaming platforms allow donations. On Youtube this is facilitated through “Super Chats,” while on Twitch your supporters can “Cheer” to donate to you.

Or alternatively, you can use third-party platforms like Streamlabs to allow people to donate to your Paypal directly.

Larger livestreamers can eventually get paid sponsorships. You can also use affiliate links and many other ways of monetizing your audience that simply aren’t possible when teaching live classes in person.

Live streaming can be as professional or low-budget as you like. You can start with just your cell phone to stream from. Or you can invest in professional audio, video, and lighting equipment.

Live Streaming is interactive through the use of live chat, but it’s best used for teaching larger classes like an exercise class.

The main downside is that it’s not suited for one-on-one instruction where you need immediate feedback from your students.

Ready to get started? 

  1. Make sure you’ve downloaded the latest version of our client. 
  2. Open Zoom and click the Apps tab in the desktop client or in the toolbar of your next Zoom Meeting. For some accounts, users may need admins to enable the Zoom Apps icon in the account settings for it to be visible in the desktop client and meeting toolbar.
  3. Click Discover to see the list of available Zoom Apps and add your favorites. 

Conclusion

Classes today are no longer limited to one classroom, or even one country. Online teaching platforms like Zoom, however, allow collaboration from home and from around the world. Teachers can use these apps to communicate with students who are stuck at home–regardless of the reason. Whether an instructor wants to engage their kindergarten class with a virtual field trip or teach college biology online–these online teaching platforms like Zoom can help make it happen.

Zoom is our favorite online teaching platform because it provides a simple and reliable video conferencing experience. Teachers can schedule meetings and send invitations that include the link to join or students can self enroll by simply clicking a web link. Meetings are stored in the cloud so you can access recordings or share them with other users…

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