Software

Best Video Conferencing Software for Schools & Online Classes


Most schools are scheduled to open by June-July but with the Covid situation escalating, it seems to be a remote possibility.

Because of this uncertainty, many schools are going the online route, at least temporarily and resorting to online video conferencing tools for students.

But then, which are the best video conferencing tools for teachers and students? Is Zoom worth it? Are there better tools? Are there free video conferencing options for schools? Let’s answer some of these questions in this article.

Best Video Conferencing Software for Schools

Video conferencing has now become the normal in 2020 and beyond. I hope the uncertainty of when students can go to school will change and schools re-open safe. But until then, there is no other go than to resort temporarily with video conferencing software.

Here are the best video conferencing software for schools.

1. Zoom

Zoom is undisputedly the most popular video conferencing tool out there. It has a bunch of features that are very appealing to schools and teachers. But the free version comes with limits.

What’s good about Zoom

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Unlimited number of sessions.
  • Ability to record video calls easily.

What’s not good about Zoom

  • 40 Minute limits on calls.
  • Limited to 100 students per call.
  • Security is an issue.

Zoom Pricing for Schools

Free! Zoom is offering the free version for schools without the 40 minute limit, if you can prove that you’ve been affected by the Pandemic. You’ll need to apply for a free account and send in few details that proves you’re affected.

2. GoTo Meeting

GoToMeeting is one of the most popular tools for online meetings and webinar from the early 2000s. I’d say it’s the grandfather of video conferencing tools.

With the Covid pandemic in mind, they’re giving away free three month of full usage of their products for colleges and schools.

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What’s good about GoToMeeting

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.
  • Full features for more control.
  • Superior quality.
  • Webinar/Conferencing features.
  • Stable platform.

What’s not good about GoToMeeting

  • Expensive.
  • Old platform – need to install on all users computer.

GoToMeeting Pricing for Schools

GoToMeeting Video conferencing is free for schools for up to three months.

3. Skype

Skype Video Conferencing for Schools

Skype is synonymous with online video calls but they somehow lost the game to Zoom when it comes to video conferencing. For one one one calls, Skype is still the most popular app but recently they entered into the video conferencing game with a free conferencing option.

According to this plan, up to 50 people can do video conferencing easily. And that too without installing any software. That’s a smart move Skype!

What’s good about Skype

  • Familiar name.
  • No installs.
  • Easy to use.
  • Record calls.

What’s not good about Skype

  • Limited to 50 people.
  • Poor quality.

Skype Video Conferencing for Schools Price

Skype Video conferencing is free for schools.

4. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing for Schools

Microsoft Teams is a free online collaboration tool for small teams. It includes video conferencing, chat, file sharing, storage and more.

Which means small teams like schools or even small businesses can use it for free without any commitment.

They have paid plans but the free version itself is a good enough video conferencing option for schools and teachers.

What’s good about Microsoft Teams

  • Secure platform.
  • More features than video conferencing.
  • Easy to use.
  • Free.

What’s not good about Microsoft Teams

  • Video conferencing.
  • Poor quality.

Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing for Schools Price

Microsoft Teams conferencing is free for schools.

5. Lifesize

Lifesize is a new generation video conferencing tool that’s lite weight but loaded with features.

It has a free plan and it’ll allow you to host video conferencing for your school with no time limits but a 25 member participant limit.

What’s good about Lifesize

  • Free plan is appealing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.
  • Unlimited time.

What’s not good about Lifesize

  • 25 Member participation limit.

6. Google Hangouts Meet

Google Meets for Schools

Google Meet is Google’s own enterprise grade video conferencing software for small teams. It wasn’t free but as of April 2020, Google has made it a free conferencing tool for everyone.

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Google Meet is an amazing free video conferencing tool for schools, as anyone can use it.

What’s good about Google Meet

  • Safe and secure platform.
  • Totally free.
  • Up to 100 participants.
  • Easy to use.
  • Available on all platforms.

What’s not good about Google Meet

  • Limit of 100 participants.

Google Meet Video Conferencing for Schools Price

Google Meet video conferencing is free for schools.

7. Cisco Webex

Cisco is one of the world leaders in developing tools for remote work forces. Originally meant for corporates and businesses, it is now used widely by schools as well.

What’s good about Cisco Webex

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.

What’s not good about Cisco Webex

  • Expensive.

Cisco Webex Pricing for Schools

Webex is primarily built for enterprises and companies. For this reason, they don’t have a fixed pricing for schools.

8. Blue Jeans

Blue Jeans is a premium video conferencing software that lets you do video conferencing for up to 50 participants at a time. It offers top quality video and audio. But the most exciting feature is that it can allow up to five hours of video recorded.

So, if you’re doing an online event, Blue Jeans is your best choice.

From a price standpoint, Blue Jeans is not very attractive though. The cheapest plan start at a $9.99 per month subscription.

What’s good about Blue Jeans

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.
  • Large storage capacity.

What’s not good about Blue Jeans

  • Expensive.

9. Uber Conference

Uber Conference is another amazing lite-weight tool that lets you do online classes and video conferencing for free. Their video is HD quality and there are a lot more features than your average video conferencing tools.

The free plan, however, has limits of up to 10 participants and 45 minutes of calling. For short meetings, I recommend it very much.

What’s good about Uber Conference

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.
  • Simple and easy to use.

What’s not good about Uber Conference

  • 10 Participants limit.
  • 45 Mins recording limit.

10. Zoho Meeting

Zoho is an amazing piece of video conferencing software that is just perfect for schools and online classes.

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It offers moderator controls, give superior audio and video quality, offer recording options, polls, chat rooms and more.

Unfortunately it isn’t free.

What’s good about Zoho Meeting

  • HD video conferencing.
  • Available on multiple platforms.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Feature-rich.

What’s not good about Zoho Meeting

  • Not free.
  • 100 Participant limit.

Other amazing video conferencing software for schools and online classes that are worth checking out.

Whereby

Whereby is a new generation video conferencing tool for very small teams. It’d be a good choice for schools looking to hold online classes, in very small numbers.

They have a free plan and it offers one meeting room with up to four meeting participants.

Adobe Connect

If you’re looking for a robust solution to online classes and seminars, then Adobe Connect is probably the best out there. Like every Adobe product, it comes loaded with features that will equip you to do everything from video conferencing to full blown multi presentation classes.

Which is the Best Video Conferencing Software for Education

Comparing the above video conferencing tools, I think the best video conferencing software for schools would be Google Meet and Zoom.

Which is the Best Video Conferencing Software for Large Groups

If you’re doing video conferencing for large groups then Zoho meetings is a good choice because it can accommodate up to 100 participants.

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