In this new age of online learning, teachers have had to find a way to effectively engage students in discussions and to keep classes as “normal” as possible, and students have lost much-needed communication with peers. Zoom and Google Meet are the two most popular platforms, but which is actually better? Both are free and are easily accessible, but there are a couple of distinguishing factors that have led most teachers at Belmont Hill to favor Zoom.
An important benefit of Zoom is the Waiting Room feature. The Waiting Room feature allows the host of the video call to control when a participant joins the meeting. This effectively secures the call from any potential “zoom bombings,” or unwanted intrusions into the conference call. This feature reflects the fact that Zoom was developed for business meetings.
Zoom also features Breakout Rooms, which enable the host to divide the Zoom participants into smaller groups. Teachers often use this feature to simulate group work and to foster collaboration and discussion. In fact, teachers can also choose either to randomly make groups or to make the groups themselves. This flexibility gives Zoom an edge over Google Meet.
Zoom also allows participants and the host to record the meeting. This factor allows students to rewatch class discussions and to catch what they missed in class. Often students become so caught up in diligent note-taking that they do not actually understand the material. This feature of Zoom allows students to listen and comprehend the material without losing the ability to take notes, as they can rewatch the conference afterward.
In a learning environment, Zoom is the better option. The Waiting Room, Breakout Rooms, and the ability to record meetings give teachers a way to better simulate in-person classes and give students better tools for learning.