The coronavirus pandemic has confined all of us to our homes. With the schools being closed down, the traditional teaching and learning process has completely halted. Students and teachers around the world are forced to ditch schools and find new methods to continue education. Virtual classrooms have been around for a long time, and during this period, they’ve proven to be a valuable resource for teachers to connect with students. Out of the many virtual classrooms you can use to reach out to your students, the applications listed in this article are arguably a few of the 10 best virtual classroom software in 2020.
What can you expect from a virtual classroom software?
Virtual classrooms – Conduct online classes over long-distance. As long as there is a sufficient internet connection, you can connect with your students just as you would in a traditional classroom.
These 10 best virtual classroom software in 2020 have many tools and features to help give the best interactive learning experience for your students. Some of these features are whiteboards, chatrooms, breakout rooms, screen sharing, engaging quizzes or simulations, and so on.
These tools will improve and encourage the engagement of students in the classroom.
While most provide essential functions, prices may differ from platform to platform.
The best software solution for your virtual classroom depends on your budget, the number of classes, and the number of students and teachers who will be using it.
You should also consider the many different features offered by each of these platforms.
Let’s dive into the list and make a quick 10 best virtual classroom software in 2020 comparison.
WizIQ is a Software as a Service (SaaS) based platform hosted through the cloud. A simple mobile device is use to access virtual classrooms. WizIQ provides many features and tools for classrooms.
It is compatible with other LMS. Integration with different learning tools is relatively easy. Some of the classroom features included are digital raise hand, reports/ analytics on student performance, interactive whiteboard, polls/ voting, two-way audio and video, and more.
It is also possible to record live virtual classroom sessions with WizIQ. If a student couldn’t attend a meeting because of some reason, they can easily access the recorded video/ audio lessons from the course library.
You can also store any additional resources, documents, files, and so on in the library for easy access. With WizIQ, you can also extend classes. This could be useful if you started the course later than scheduled.
WizIQ offers a free trial and pricing starts at $16. They provide excellent 24/7 live customer support ready to help you if you run into problems.
2. Google Classroom
The Google virtual classroom is entirely free and easy to set up. As the google suite is familiar to almost everyone, it will be easy for the students to use. Google classroom also integrates with many other applications that you can use for your teaching process. This is one of the best virtual classroom software in our “10 best virtual classroom software in 2020 ” list.
Google classroom is a helpful tool to create classes for many groups of students easily. You can send assignments and provide feedback to students through the interface. It also integrates with Google Hangouts, docs, sheets, and other google products seamlessly.
However, to get access to features such as live chat and video streaming, you need to sign up for the G suite education. This, too, is free along with unlimited document storage, video conferencing, full product suite, email accounts for the school, and more.
Zoom is a video conferencing software that has developed to be used as an online classroom software. It is an all-in-one cloud-based platform. It combines many tools that can be useful for a virtual classroom.
Some functions you get with Zoom are video conferencing, live chat, screen sharing, whiteboard integration, and so on. Zoom can be accessed by any browser and mobile device. This platform is easy to set up, and you can use it to conduct your virtual classroom without a hassle.
Zoom is popularly used for online classrooms these days and can provide a great learning experience for students. The pricing starts at $19.99 per month per host. The basic, 1 to 1 version is free for use.
4. Microsoft teams
This application is another tool that your students will quickly get used to. It is free for use, and all you have to do is verify that you are a reputable educational institute, and you’ll complete the full package with Microsoft office.
This free version can connect unlimited users, unlimited storage, and universal online tools to aid with the virtual education process. You can set up Microsoft teams to include students, classrooms, staff, or even the whole school.
There are additional functions such as session recording as well. With Microsoft Teams, the entire school is connected and can communicate with each other.
Microsoft teams is an incredible virtual classroom application for your classroom as students/ other members, including staff, most probably have experience working with the Microsoft package. There is also a paid version that includes reports, analytics, etc. priced at $3.25 – $8 per month per user.
5. Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect is one of the best virtual classroom platforms in the market. It provides quality audio and video conferencing using your web browser and Adobe Flash Player runtime. It can be used in any device and has many functionalities as well.
Adobe Connect offers features such as file sharing, interactive whiteboard, real-time and private chats, polls/ voting, session recording, and two-way audio and video. It is also possible to stream presentations, share screens, and more. Adobe Connect can also be accessed through mobile devices.
This platform can be used to conduct online classes, webinars, meetings between staff, etc. It integrates perfectly with other Adobe tools as well. Although it is made for business functions at its core, you can still use Adobe Connect to conduct a virtual classroom.
The starting price of this platform is $50 per month. To inquire about specific costs, you need to contact customer support. There is a free trial version, and you can also get a free demo of the product.
LearnCube is a purpose-built application that has been specifically designed for virtual teaching and learning. As it is a browser-based application, there is no downloading involved, and it is easy to set up.
LearnCube provides many features, and you have the option to opt-in or out of those features according to your need.
The features provided by LearnCube are file sharing, interactive whiteboard, real-time/ private chat, analytics, two-way audio and video, and session recording for later access.
This application can also be integrated with an LMS and has functionalities like video conferencing, in-built course authoring, providing lesson notes, taking attendance, and more. You can also use LearnCube as a payment portal if you’re a tutor.
However, LearnCube has limited group classes that provide access to about ten learners only. So, it may not be the right choice if you have larger groups of students in your classrooms.
But, LearnCube is an excellent interactive virtual classroom with high-quality video and audio. You can also customize the LearnCube interface and brand it.
This feature can be useful for institutions and other private tutors. The price may vary according to the package you decide to purchase. The starting price is $27. There is also a free version and a free trial version.
Vedamo is a highly interactive virtual classroom software for teachers, trainers, or other tutors. This, too, is browser-based, and no downloading is required. There are two options of Vedamo as the online classroom and LMS.
The virtual classroom offers interactive whiteboard, live stream, screen sharing, file sharing, and so on. The breakout room feature available in Vedamo makes it possible to assign group assignments to students.
The students can divide into groups and work together as in a physical classroom environment. Vedamo also offers free templates if you need help designing your virtual classroom.
The learning management system provides all these features and some more functions such as creating and running courses, building reports/ analytics, tracking attendance of students, and more. LMS used to manage students, classes, and content. You can even develop your academy with this platform.
Vedamo also integrates easily with other online tools such as Canva and Google for Education. If you need to try the software first, there is a free demo as well. Only 25 students can enroll in virtual classrooms.
However, you can add more students to the LMS. It cost around $25 per month For 25 students. If you need to add more students, the LMS is $43 per month.
ezTalks is a cloud-based platform designed for video conferencing purposes. However, it can still be used as a platform for virtual classrooms as well.
ezTalks provides features such as HD video and audio, screen sharing, file sharing, interactive whiteboard, real-time chat, session recording, reporting and analytics, polls, and so on.
This platform is also an excellent option for a free virtual classroom software. In the free version of EZTalks, you can add up to 100 students for a session.
So, if you’re conducting lessons for a large classroom, this is a good option. However, there is a limitation for group sessions. One session cannot go on for more than 40 minutes.
For unlimited students and session time, you can buy the paid version, which costs about $10 to $50 per month per host according to the package. The paid version also offers unlimited storage. This storage space can be used to store course materials required for your classroom sessions.
9. Electa Live
Electa Live is a specialized online teaching and learning software. It also comes with the more expensive option for an integrated LMS. You can use Electa Live for creating courses and tutorials, arranging live online classes, lectures, meetings, and one-on-one lectures.
It also has general functionalities in other virtual classroom platforms such as file sharing, interactive whiteboards, real-time chat, breakout rooms, session recording, and more. With Electa Live, you can also schedule live classes through the LMS.
Electa Live also has sophisticated VoIP functions that work well even with lower bandwidths. There are no extra charges for audio conferencing. This makes Electa Live a great live virtual classroom software.
As for the cost, this platform charges from $29.90 to $399.99 per month. The price depends on the number of classrooms and the number of teachers using the platform. There is no free version for Electa Live. However, you can get a free trial of two weeks for every package.
BigBlueButton is a free and open-source virtual classroom software. With this platform, teachers can share files from desktop and use up to 15 webcams at once. This option is useful if your classroom is being conducted by multiple teachers.
BigBlueButton also has interactive features such as whiteboards, live chat, two-way video and audio, presentation sharing, session recording, and student/ parent portal. It is also an easy to use platform that easily integrates with most LMS.
Overall, this option is great if you are looking for a functional yet free online classroom software.
Now that you know some of the best virtual classroom software in 2020, Here are some tips for conducting your first online classroom.
Tips for conducting a virtual classroom
- Find an excellent virtual classroom platform. You already know a few of the best options.
- Familiarize yourself with how to navigate around the platform.
- Prepare necessary documents and resources beforehand.
- Make sure that your students understand how to get around the platform.
- Ask questions and communicate. It can be awkward to talk to thin air. But, communicating is necessary for engagement.
- Always ask for feedback. You can use this feedback to improve your delivery in the next session.
We hope you found the perfect software solution for your virtual classroom on this list. Keep in mind that this list does not represent any order. All the software mentioned here are functional and can add significant value to your teaching, learning process. Your choice depends on your need.
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