Distance learning has exposed both teachers and students to different online learning platforms. Our entire education now depends on two video conferencing platforms: Zoom and Google Meets. Both platforms are great, but there are a few differences.
First of all, both platforms have a lot in common. They all let a user see the participants list, chat (unless restricted by the host), screen share, and turn cameras off and on. They can also record the meeting. Both, (unless, again, restricted by the host,) allow students to raise an emoji hand to get the teacher’s attention with a notification. Both platforms also have an option for the always-awkward breakout rooms and polls.
Personally, I believe that Google Meets is the better platform for distance learning. Firstly, the Google Meets layout is more basic than Zoom. You can easily change the number of people you see, the layout of the tiles, and you can still see people when someone is screen sharing. Plus, all you need for Google Meets is the link and your email! This makes answering questions and getting responses much more efficient. Unfortunately, great things come with a price. Originally, it was only available for G Suite customers, but they’ve created a free version and have allowed it to be used until March 31st.
Zoom is very popular. It allows the user to switch between only two layouts, speaker and gallery view. It had a wide variety of things you can do on it, some depending on the device being used. For example, when using an iPad, you can draw on what is being screen-shared! Zoom also has a wider variety of emojis that can be used in the conference. Personally, I don’t like using Zoom as much. The layout annoys me, especially when someone is screen sharing. Additionally, logging into a Zoom meeting without the link is plain annoying. The passwords, I’m sure, don’t stop strangers from entering the class, especially if the link was posted on social media. Unfortunately, like Google Meets, it’s another platform that has to be paid for. The free version only allows meetings to go on for 40 minutes.
You may argue that Zoom is better, and I don’t blame you. I thought it was the more professional platform at the beginning of the year. But after having a balance of both in my classes, Google Meets is just evidently better to me. However, both are getting the school through this crazy year, so I can’t complain!
So, which is the easier platform, for you, to use during distance learning?