With the UK going into its third national lockdown both schools and businesses have started up remote learning again. We have decided to start a series in which we review some of the most popular video conferencing platforms to see which is best for online learning. Today we are going to kick start the series with Zoom!

 
The Advantages of Zoom;

 

Whiteboard

Its like being in the classroom! Teachers are able to activate a collaborative whiteboard. The whiteboard feature offers basic options of a pen tool or text box, allowing students to brainstorm ideas or show their workings out. A great way to keep the students engaged throughout the day.

Gallery view

A great feature of zoom is the gallery view. Instead of having the main speaker shown throughout the entire call (which is an option on zoom) you can have the gallery view option. This is great for online lessons as it ensures that you are still having that face-to-face interaction with all the students like you would in the classroom. As well as this Zoom allows up to 100 participants on a call, which is especially great for seminars with Uni students.

Easy to set up and join

Teachers have multiple lessons with a number of different students, a great way to manage that is by pre scheduling the lesson and sending the link to the students, which can easily be done on Zoom. The lesson will only begin when the host, aka the teacher has arrived. Students can then easily join the lesson without needing to sign in with a registered zoom account.

Teachers can also opt out to disable the password which is useful when managing calls with a bigger group of students.

Annotate the screen

With many platforms only the host of the call can share their screen. For class presentations or going through answers of a test this can be very unpractical. However, Zoom allows both the students and the teachers to share their screens. Not only this but teachers are able to directly annotate on their student’s screen so students can see what they have done well or where they need a little help.

Recording your lessons

Whether a student has missed a lesson or needs a re-fresher on what they learn, the recording feature can easily enable this.

Teachers are able to record their live classes and lectures for future purposes. For example, if a child misses a lesson or needs a re-fresher on what they have learnt they can easily review the video recording.  

Disadvantages of Zoom
 

‘Zoombombing’ This has recently become a new occurrence. If teachers opt out for the need of a password to join the meetings there is no security put in place that stops unauthorised people to join the call. This also could be the result of people sharing passwords with their friends. There have also been cases in which hackers have found ways to obtain passwords and invade the lessons.

Not only this but the quality is unfortunately not HD and users will need to download the app to use the platform. For a first-time user this can be a little confusing. This also can cause a lot of time wasting with users trying to download and set up an account when their lesson has started.

Overall Zoom has a number of great advantages, the cheap and user-friendly platform is a great way to host your online lessons!