If you’re an educator looking for a convenient way to teach remotely, you should consider using a video meeting app for online classes. Many educational institutions, including K-12, colleges, and universities, have been utilizing such applications for distance education, especially after COVID-19 began to disrupt learning in the U.S.
In fall 2020, about 11.8 million or 75% of all undergraduate students were participating in at least one online class, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). With so many educational apps having different specific features available in the market, it could be overwhelming for you to decide which one’s the best. This is where we can make things easier for you.
LiveBoard is an interactive virtual whiteboard application with multiple in-person and online classroom applications. Its designers had the K-12 curriculum in mind when developing most of the app’s features, including real-time drawing and multipage board sharing with the ability to insert images and digital documents like PDFs.
Available for both mobile and desktop platforms, LiveBoard allows you to record and store your classroom sessions in the cloud. Its quick interactive quizzes for students enhance online study experiences, while the “Presence” feature lets you know when participants are bored or absent.
LiveBoard plans include:
Zoom is one of the best video meeting apps for teachers, students, faculty, and staff at all levels of education. The application is an effective tool for real-time collaborative learning with its screen- and whiteboard-sharing capabilities. Beyond the classroom, the app supports other functions of an educational institution, such as parent and community communication and administrative meetings. Other key features include:
Zoom for Education plans and pricing include:
Blackboard Collaborate is another video meeting app for online classes with the versatility necessary to support distance learning via laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. It provides multiple automation to streamline routine workflows for educators, such as the always-available course rooms. With this feature, instructors don’t have to create new sessions to get started unless they prefer to. Likewise, students get automatic access to their course with their respective levels of virtual classroom permissions. Other features include:
Plans start at $300 a year for classrooms and $9,000 a year for the university, college, or school departments. Also, custom packages and pricing are available based on preferences like storage limit in hours.
Google Meet for education offers multiple features for highly effective virtual classrooms and remote collaborative learning. It integrates seamlessly with Google services like Calendar, Gmail, and Drive, making it one of the best video meeting apps for teachers, lecturers, and instructors who are already using these online tools. Google Meet features include:
Although Microsoft Teams is an enterprise-grade solution, there’s a free version for schools that supports up to 300 participants. There’s no doubt it’s an excellent video meeting app for online classes, especially for institutions seeking seamless integration with other Microsoft products, including Office 365 applications. MS Teams provides functions such as:
Microsoft Teams’ premium plans start at $5 per month per user. MS Teams premium is included in the Microsoft 365 plan, where you can access all MS Office apps, including Teams.
Cisco’s Webex is an ideal option for educators or schools that have been using learning management systems (LMS) like Sakai, Blackboard, or D2L. The software easily plugs into LMSs, significantly boosting collaborative capabilities for teachers and students across campus. With high-quality video conferencing and rich content sharing, distance learning becomes a reality for users of the platform.
Webex can support as many as 1000 participants, with plans starting at $1,950 per year for 50 hosts.
Other critical features include:
Lessonspace is an innovative and one of the latest entrants in the video meeting app industry. Its user-friendly UI, comprehensive whiteboard, and distinctive tools have recently made it one of the most popular video meeting apps for online classes. The application is beneficial and convenient for learning languages, solving arithmetic issues, dealing with logic, and much more.
With Lessonpace, you can teach on infinite shared canvas using subject-specific tools such as graph creator, code editor, and syntax highlighter. You can also customize your layout and space and access all the resources within the space itself.
Other features include:
All these exclusive features come at a price, though. Lessonspace has two pricing options – pay per teacher and pay per hour. The ‘pay per teacher’ plan starts at $19.99 per month, and the ‘pay per hour’ plan starts at $29 per month. You can choose whichever plan suits your needs.
These apps can be helpful in conducting online classes, but are you able to get the best out of your virtual classroom? Virtual learning can be interactive, but taking down notes while listening or speaking can often prove to be a difficult task. As a teacher, you may want your teachings in text form for future purposes such as lesson planning or examination paper setting.
You may also need these notes for your exam preparation if you are a student. A professional academic transcription services company can fulfill all these wishes while helping you extract more educational value from your recorded virtual classes.
The major downside of these video meeting apps is that they don’t come with a professional transcription service. Google has a ‘turn on captions’ feature, but you can only record the text and not download it anywhere. Elsewhere, MS Teams has an in-built transcription tool, but just like all other automated transcription tools, its accuracy only goes as far as 70%.
This is where a professional transcription service company like GMR Transcription Services, Inc. can help your cause.
Our 100% US-based human transcriptionists have a proven track record of providing 99% accurate transcripts for good quality audio. Contact us today to get started with our transcription services!