For teachers and schools looking to teach live online, there are many solutions that pair well with Your Agora. Our platform handles sharing assignments and viewing results; for live video, audio, and presenting, we recommend using one of the following apps.
There’s a reason remote teaching is often called “skype teaching”. Almost everyone already has a Skype account and for those who don’t, it’s easy to set up. For a while, Skype fell behind in quality and features, but recent updates have improved the service substantially. Video conferencing is now easy and reliable and it works just as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop.
You can also now create groups and schedule calls. However, because there is no way of organizing contacts, it can sometimes be tricky to know who is who. However, once students are added to the call, you can use that same call again and again for every class.
After you download and install Team Viewer, you can start a call and invite users by email, a link, or meeting ID. The same ID or link can also be used for multiple sessions meaning the student can use the same instructions again and again for every class.
The program allows participants to write directly on the screen, and even shift control of the screen being shared to different participants. This is especially helpful if your students are having any technical difficulties as you can take control of their computer cursor to help them.
If you have never used Team Viewer before, it can be a little confusing at first, and if students are connecting from their smartphones, screen sharing works but not the camera. It also doesn’t look as great as some of the other apps on this list. If you don’t mind those issues though, this is definitely the app to use.
Google has in the past had a hard time delivering a focused, stable product for video conferencing. With Google Talk and Google+ in the past and Google Hangouts Meet, Google Hangouts Chat, and Google Duo newly introduced, keeping track of all the changes can be a headache. Google also has a habit of making products that look very intuitive and easy to use but leave you a little lost and scratching your head as you attempt anything beyond the core features. It also only works in the Chrome browser.
That said, with an intuitive design, Google Calendar and email integration, no app to download, and an easy signup process for anyone who doesn’t already have a Google account, Hangouts is a solid choice.
Zoom is another remote conferencing service that’s quite popular. The free version limits calls to 40min, so for longer calls you need to pay or close the call and start it up again. For new users, getting set up can also be a bit confusing: you have to click a button to activate audio which some users don’t see and have trouble figuring out.
Zoom’s paid plan has unique and powerful features like webinars and video breakout rooms which allow you to split your class into groups for pairwork and groupwork. Paid or free, Zoom is well designed and intuitively laid out. Zoom is probably not the best option unless you’re looking for these cool paid features. However, if you have the budget and are willing to learn how to use the extra features, Zoom will likely give your students the best educational experience.
If you already use Slack for managing your administrators and teachers, you may want to consider using it for students as well. Slack’s paid plan has an intuitive video conferencing tool with screen sharing and an option to write on the screen. Guests limited to one group/channel are free but you can only have 10 per paid user. Adding students to channels also means it will be much easier to message them with questions, updates, and important information at any time.
Even if you don’t use Slack for video conferencing, it’s helpful (and free) for managing and messaging teachers and students. It’s also an effective tool for letting students know what’s going on and giving them the appropriate links to the class.
No matter what app you decide to use, Your Agora is here to help. Click on the link below to set up a free account and/or contact us to set up a personal call to learn more about how you can provide custom quality material to your students.