As time goes by, more and more classes are moving online. Initially, it used to be just for those in higher education. Now, even those in elementary school can attend online classes. Two of the biggest competitors when it comes to hosting these classes are Google Classroom and Zoom. Generally speaking, Zoom is a videoconferencing application with file and message sharing features. Google Classroom is a class management app ideally suited for file sharing.
This article will look at the two applications separately and analyze their pros and cons.
As was mentioned, Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing software. It allows people to meet and communicate either through video or audio. It has a chat feature where you can text and share files. It has free and paid versions. For the free version, meetings can host up to 100 participants and only last 40 minutes. The paid version can host up to 500 people.
The Benefits of Zoom:
- It is very user friendly – You can easily create a meeting and invite others to join. You can send an invite link or the login credentials. The software is easy to navigate.
- Available for various operating systems – You can download the Zoom app on your PC or mobile device.
- It is cloud-based, meaning you can connect with people from all over the world as long as they have an internet connection.
- Students can join or leave the class easily without disrupting the class. Teachers also have the option of locking a meeting. This way, they can keep out uninvited guests. They can also expel unruly students from the class.
- The teacher or the students can share useful links and files as it has a chat function. Additionally, the teacher can switch off the private chat or group-wide messaging if they feel it is a distraction.
- The app has a screen-share option. If the teacher wants to point out a specific part of a file or share a video, they can simply share their screen for all members to see. The teacher can also share a whiteboard that they are using to teach.
- They can enable or disable the microphone feature for the attendees. This way, when the teacher wants the students to participate, he or she can unmute them. Otherwise, to keep out noise from the students’ environments, they can be muted.
- A teacher can track attendance. The teacher can receive a notification on email on who attended the class for accountability purposes.
- You can record Zoom meetings for future reference.
The Disadvantages of Zoom:
- Zoom meetings require a large bandwidth. Otherwise, sounds drop in and out, and therefore people need to repeat what they said. For students living in places with poor internet infrastructure, this may be a problem.
- Teachers need to account for downtime when planning the lessons. This is the time it takes for a considerable amount of students to join the meeting for the lesson to start.
- Students who aren’t tech-savvy may have a hard time adapting to how the application works.
This is a classroom management application made by Google. Many school districts in the US are using Google Classroom, for example, Chicago public schools. Whether you had a research paper writing service craft your paper for you or you wrote it yourself, Google classroom will effortlessly deliver it to your teacher for grading.
- Ease of use – One of Google’s core qualities is user-friendliness. Google classroom is easy to navigate both for teachers and students.
- It is available on multiple devices. You can access Google Classroom through the mobile application. You can also access it through the Chrome Browser.
- Effective sharing and communication. This is made possible by using Google Drive.
- Teachers can upload documents to their Google Drive then share them with the students.
- Students can upload their assignments on the application for grading.
- Teachers can grade and give feedback to students on their work on the platform.
- Teachers can know when students submitted assignments.
- Saves on paper – In a physical classroom, the teacher has to print out notes and assignments. They also have to collect them, mark them, and be careful not to lose them. This is no longer a worry with digital documents.
- Ease of grading – Teachers can quickly grade students on the app. Furthermore, they can export these grades to a google sheet.
- Is useful for everybody – Besides connecting teachers and students, it can also connect teachers to parents and their fellow teachers. You can have multiple classrooms set up for each group and share any relevant information.
- You can use Google Meet for online classes in specific cases.
- Google Classroom sends notifications to the students whenever the teachers upload a new document. Teachers can also schedule uploads.
- In some cases, you need G-Suite to set up a meeting on Google meet. You may need to pay for this.
- Requires uninterrupted internet access.
- Students that aren’t tech-savvy will have a problem acclimating to it.
- It is not very user friendly for young kids. They may need their parents’ help to navigate.
These two apps are revolutionizing how learning is taking place. Their weaknesses seem to complement each other. Some schools are using both Google Classroom and Zoom for teaching. They are using Zoom’s amazing video conferencing features for hosting the online classes. Google Classroom, on the other hand, is used to exchange the necessary documents relating to learning. It is also used in managing assignments and exams.