While most virtual classrooms are not free, they have become the solution to conduct online classes in the most convenient way. Companies like Zoom and Google have released products that facilitate streaming and online courses. Distance learning is possible thanks to software programs such as Skype, Facebook video calling, including the addition of new features to WhatsApp.
These programs, known as LMS, serve as virtual classrooms through which different students can interact and see each other. They have been a great help to freelance educators, whose main resource has been Skype for a long time. This educational model has been adopted by institutes and universities, which are using more advanced programs for online education. In this article, we will discover some of these apps.
Facebook video calling
If you’re a freelance teacher on a tight budget, use Facebook video calling for your classes. It’s free and you just need the two parties to have a camera and a microphone. The only drawback is that there are not too many participants.
However, you can very easily video chat via Facebook smart video calling for teaching and taking lessons. Use this option if you are having issues with Skype and Google Hangouts. Mind you, the quality of streaming may be inferior to that of Skype and its other counterpart.
To video chat, add that person as a friend and call her. You can add more users, but you must also have them in your contact list.
Google has enabled another e-learning resource: Google Hangouts. Like Facebook video calling, you also need three things: a camera, a Gmail account, and fast internet.
This app allows you to name the Hangout account and invite people. You can do this free of charge. Google Hangouts lets you take screenshots, add effects, and record broadcasts. The latter function is more convenient for students.
The app allows up to 9 students per session, as well as screen sharing and measurements.
To create your student group, go to Gmail and search for the users in your Hangouts contact list. Make sure you are accepted as a friend by all users you want to include in the conversation.
Skype has become popular among educators, businesses, freelancers, and outsourcers. It is free and can connect with different students. This tool has been used for a long time due to the fact that it is simple.
Skype used to be intended for language learners, but is now a digital app suitable for general online education. You only need an Outlook account and good internet to get started. This renowned e-learning tool allows you to share the screen, files, links and much more. However, it should not be used for online quizzes or explaining graphs. When it comes to didactic resources, Skype is limited.
You can download the program or just access it via web.skype with your Outlook account. To create a class, enter http://web.skype.com/, find the students on their Gmail account, and send them an invite to the group.
Zoom is another online tool that has leveraged online education and gained a reputation for being simple. Like SKYPE, Zoom allows students to screen share, record, take lessons, send and receive jpg, png and other image formats. You can even assemble a whiteboard for teaching.
To host a conversation, enter https://www.zoom.us/signup, submit your credentials and you’re ready to start a class whenever you want.
Zoom offers the same features as Skype, but loads much faster and has a more professional look.
Newrow – Virtual Classroom
With Newrow, you can make your room quickly and easily, but it will cost you $27 per month. Use it when screen sharing isn’t enough.
Once you’ve gone premium with Newrow, you’ll have a customizable virtual classroom. The screen can be personalized and resized as desired to view, send and receive video, images, charts, tables, datasheets and other file types.
Newrow offers you digital whiteboard, screen sharing and data sharing. You can make whiteboard recordings for displaying graphs, teaching mathematics, statistics and programming. This software enables discussions and video link sharing.
Download the app and upgrade here for more features.
Vedamo is a tutorial that can be used in the browser and does not need to be downloaded. The program works as a whiteboard on which participants participate in a classroom environment. Videos can be moved, resized and resized. It works very similar to Newrow, with certain variations. The whole environment is white, just like a whiteboard.
The software also allows copying and pasting of links from YouTube and other video streaming websites such as VeVo or DropBox. On the Vedamo whiteboard, you can upload Word.docx files, PDF documents and Excel files and attach files from the PC to make them appear on the whiteboard. Customizing the whiteboard on Vedamo is no higher math.
The cost of the program is $25 per month. Vedamo is a learning app that hasn’t caught on as quickly as expected, but it’s slowly gaining ground for its functionality and practicality.
If you want to learn more about how it works, check out these tutorials, or go to the Vedamo website to read and download the instructions. It offers a 30-day free trial.
Big Blue Button
BigBlueButton is another distance learning tool that allows you to share files and connect up to 15 webcams. The software is great for architects, engineers, artists, and math teachers who need to draw, create diagrams, and create infographics. Apart from that, it offers the basic features that we find in other e-learning education apps, such as screen sharing, polling and breakout rooms.
BigBlueButton is an alternative to Zoom and Vedamo, as it has almost the same options. This tool makes it easy to personalize virtual classrooms and configure recordings.
Unfortunately, the program often has limitations to record a maximum of 60 minutes. This is because the server crashes due to high demand. On the plus side, you can create an account with Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
To learn more about BigBlueButton, watch this video to learn the download process and how to use it, or visit the website to get straight to the point.
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