A brief comparison of Zoom, Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams for Education for online learning. Which one should you select for teaching and studying from home?
Students will continue staying at home for an unknown period as a measure to control the spread of Covid -19 which is now a global pandemic. However, there are various digital tools that teachers can use to interact with students, hold classes and give assignments online.
Below are some of the digital platforms that can offer online space for students and teachers to share and learn
Zoom for Education
Zoom is best at Video Communication. For one to use zoom, the host has to go to www.zoom.us and sign up for an account for free. The Free version is ideal for scheduling short meetings.
Teachers can invite students to meetings through an invitation links sent to their emails. They can also join the meetings directly on the zoom application. You can read our tutorial on how to use zoom for learning.
The benefits of using Zoom is that you can see upto 49 participants in a single Grid Layout. You can also record meetings to your desktop.
Then again, only the host is required to pay if you want to host meetings that are longer than 40 minutes.
The downside of using Zoom is that you need to install its desktop software to join meetings. It has also had many security related issues.
I would recommend Zoom if you are looking for a free tool to host short meetings.
Google classroom is mostly used for creating assignments, submitting assignments and grading. We have written a detailed tutorial about it here: Understanding Google Classroom.
You can go for Google Classroom if you are looking for a simple web app to manage assignments and keep track of student performance.
The benefits of using Google Classroom is that you do not need to install any software as it is available on the web. You can also hold meetings on Google Classroom through Google Meet.
The disadvantage of using Google Classroom is that you need a Gmail account to use. It also very few features.
I would recommend Google Classroom if you are dealing with students between Grade 1 to 12. For Higher Education then Go for Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft teams for Education
Microsoft team is available on Windows and Mac operating systems (app). You can use it in your mobile app, Web App or Desktop App. It has has more features ideal for remote learning than Classroom. We have written a detailed article about Teams available in this page: Microsoft Teams Tutorial.
If you are looking for something that has a combination of both what Zoom and Google Classroom offers then go for Microsoft Teams. However, you need to have a paid version of office 365 and some good internet connection.
The benefits of using Teams is that you can trust it when it comes to security. Documents shared on Teams are encrypted and stored on Microsoft’s Cloud company (Azure).
The downside of using Microsoft Teams is that it is expensive. Payment is per user account unless you have an Education account.
I would recommend Teams if you are dealing with students in College or University.