Online Platforms

With the crisis of the pandemic, schools have had to adapt to distance learning, meaning teachers needed to find a new way to communicate with students. There have been many options considered such as Zoom and even Google Hangouts. There needed to be a platform where teachers were able to teach as they would normally in the classroom, with features that would allow them to give lessons without any trouble. There are multiple options to choose from, but all are different and have a variety of features that are distinct from one another. 

Google Hangouts

By: Trinity Duran

There are many platforms that can be used to communicate with others online such as Google Hangouts. It is free and easy to install; all that it requires is for the individual to have a Google account and a device. Google Hangouts contains a variety of features for individuals to use to enhance their meetings. It is simple to use, making video calling smoother. One of the new features is a speech to text, which allows real-time captioning during meetings or video chats. It is great for those who have a hearing disability as they will be able to follow along without having trouble. Google Hangouts is easy to access since users can look at their calendar or have a shared link, and there is no need to log in and out of a personal account. It has a chat that can hold up to 150 participants, where people can send or share links and other important information with others at a click of a button. Google Hangouts is mostly used for small gatherings, as it can only hold up to 10 participants at a time, which is not compatible with a professional classroom setting which can have as many as 36 students. There are some flaws, for instance, those who have 10 participants or more may experience people in the meeting being kicked off. Unfortunately, the app cannot bring back a person once they are kicked off.

Why Our School Choose Zoom

By: Joseline Hernandez 

The school was considering using Google Hangouts as a platform for students to use this year during distance learning. Google Hangouts had some complications, however, so Zoom was ultimately considered the more suitable choice. Google Hangouts was not able to allow teachers to take attendance of their students and therefore was not a good platform to use. On the other hand, Zoom allows teachers to take attendance and is a more beginner-friendly online platform for both students and teachers to use and understand. With the features of Zoom, about 100 more participants are allowed to join a call, making it easier to have a large number of students in each zoom meeting

Microsoft Teams

By: Ruby La

Zoom has been known to have security infractions. Some meetings are infiltrated by Zoom bombers, uninvited individuals who join the meeting to harass its participants. Hackers may be able to access personal information and video calls that are transport encrypted. To solve the security issue, Zoom set up waiting rooms and password requirements. However, some security experts, like Craig Malloy, CEO of Lifesize, do not think that this is enough. An alternative to Zoom could be Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a built-in video-conferencing feature in Office 365. It has both a paid version and a free version. The free version can allow as many as 300 members to join a conference call, it also contains guest access, one-on-one and group video/audio calls, screen sharing and shared files with 10GB per team. All that is required is to sign up using a personal email address. The paid version, called Business Plans, offers more features. This includes giving administrators access to security, management, and compliance tools. It supports online webinars and training sessions, as well as allowing users to collaborate using Office programs and SharePoint Online.