7 of The Best Web Conferencing Tools for Teachers

The future of education is co-education, a fact that is now more evident than ever. The large-scale disruptions caused by the current pandemic have led to a mass e-migration. We have seen this electronic migration firsthand in the education field where teachers and educators have suddenly had to migrate all of their work to the cloud.

And now that we’re back to in-class teaching, many teachers still use one form or another of online teaching. Hybrids are here to stay and in some contexts are already becoming the new normal.

With our growing dependence on the Internet, web and video conferencing tools are becoming increasingly important especially for us in the education sector. After hosting virtual classrooms for online discussions and meetings, simultaneous forms of conferences have become the norm.

In today’s post, I am sharing with you some of the best video conferencing and webinar hosting tools with you. You can use these tools to deliver online training, workshops and webinars, schedule and plan meetings, and more. All web conferencing tools support live broadcasting of presentations, screen sharing, messaging, and more.

1- Zoom

Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platform. It is ideal for hosting online meetings. Here are some of the interesting features it offers:
  • You can host up to 100 video participants, the pro version allows you to add more
  • Record your videos and save them locally or to the cloud.
  • “Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and add annotations during screen sharing”
  • Support scheduling or initiating meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal
  • Chat with groups, searchable archives, integrated file sharing, and 10-year archive. Easily escalate to individual or group calls”
  • 40 minutes max for group meetings
  • Video break rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into up to 50 separate sessions for discussion, projects and more.
  • private and group chat; default background blackboard
  • No need for a Zoom account to join a meeting You need a Zoom account to create a meeting
  • Works on the web, Android and iOS
  • The premium version provides more features.

2- Blackboard Collaboration

Blackboard Collaborate provides you with a secure digital space where you can connect face-to-face with students, peers, and collaborators. Some of the main features it offers include:
  • interactive whiteboard
  • suffrage
  • Moderated subgroups
  • Serial hand raise notifications
  • Session Recordings
  • Private meetings and more.

3- Skype

Skype is another great video conferencing platform. It offers the following services;
  • Supports up to 50 video or audio conference participants
  • Easily share presentations, vacation photos, or anything on your screen during a call with the built-in screen sharing.
  • Call recordings, live captions and subtitles. No time limits
  • Supports private conversations
  • background blur
  • Includes chat feature and calls feedback
  • Skype saves your recording for up to 30 days
  • Works on the web, Android and iOS
  • Free Skype video chat app

4- Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has risen particularly well during the pandemic as more and more teachers and educators are backing away from its services to host meetings, conferences, and webinars. Some of the services it offers include:
  • Supports up to 250 members in a single Teams meeting
  • Unlimited chat and search
  • 10 GB of team file storage and 2 GB of personal file storage per person.
  • Real-time collaboration with Office applications
  • Screen sharing and background blur
  • Share files with colleagues and work on them together.
  • Unlimited app integration with over 250 business apps to choose from, including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
  • “You need an Office 365 account with the appropriate Office 365 license”
  • Works on the web, Android and iOS
  • Paid version offers more features

5- Webex

Another powerful web conferencing platform. Webex works across different browsers and devices. Some of the features it offers include:
  • Supports meetings with up to 100 participants
  • interactive whiteboard
  • Screen sharing
  • Messaging and HD videos
  • Advanced noise removal and speech improvement
  • Gesture recognition and automatic transcription
  • Custom layouts and calendar integration
  • 1:1 and group messaging, and many more.

6- Google is dead

Google Meet is definitely another excellent video conferencing platform for teachers and educators. Some of the features it offers include:

  • Host meetings from anywhere with up to 250 participants, sign up to watch them later, or broadcast live to up to 100,000 people.
  • Unlimited video meetings until the end of September, after which a maximum of 60 minutes for free users.
  • Integrated with G Suite, so you can join meetings directly from a calendar event or email invitation.
  • Supports real-time captions, scheduling, and screen sharing.
  • With G Suite, each meeting includes its own contact details automatically. Guests can quickly connect with just two taps on their smartphone.
  • Edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in real time with the entire team and track every change with version history.
  • Create a group calendar, organize files in a shared drive, and create group chats for up to 150 participants to keep the whole team on the same page.

7- Zoho meeting

Zoho Meeting is an online meeting platform and webinar tool that helps individuals and teams collaborate and work together remotely. Some of the features provided by Zoho Meeting include:
  • Start and join online meetings and webinars from your browser. No need to download any software.
  • Collaborate face-to-face with video and audio conferencing
  • Connect a monitor for live presentations and demos
  • Record your meetings and webinars, store and play them online, share with a link or download and save to your local Drive.
  • Join online meetings and seminars through your phone, to overcome the problem of poor internet connection.
  • Add team members and collaborators to your meetings as presenters
  • Automatically add events to your email when you receive meeting invitations and webinar registration notifications in your inbox. Enable automatic syncing of sessions you create with Zoho and Google Calendars.
  • Secure your meetings and webinars with features like secure meetings and password protection
  • Plan meetings in advance and email invitations to participants with the agenda, date and time. For instant collaboration, start meetings right away and share the join link with participants via chat, SMS or email.
  • Get RSVPs from your invitees and see who’s going to be there beforehand. Edit or replay your meeting based on who’s attending. Send automatic email reminders with join links and conference details before a meeting or webinar. ‘
  • Lock secret meetings to keep them safe from unexpected attendees. Get notified when someone tries to enter your meeting and only let them in if you want to.
  • “Reduce disruptions and push discussions in the right direction. Use moderator controls to mute all or individual participants. Also, remove participants when they are no longer part of the discussion.
  • Conduct webinars by broadcasting live video feeds of organizers and co-organizers to attendees along with the webinar presentation.

note

The first version of this article was published in July 2012. Since then, the fast-paced world of educational technology has seen massive changes and developments, I updated this post in December 2021 to keep track of the latest developments in the hope that you will find it useful.

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