There are some great Zoom alternatives on the market in 2021. Zoom seems to have taken over the world of video-conferencing for both personal and professional purposes – enough that “Zoom” is considered a perfectly passable verb to use when hopping on your morning meeting or enjoying a friend’s birthday remotely.
However, the platform may not be as prevalent forever. Our last article touched on some of the security and privacy concerns that have affected the company in the past year, and other arguments why Zoom isn’t the best option for certain purposes – especially online teaching. So what are some of the best Zoom alternatives? Let’s check them out.
Here are the best Zoom alternatives for online education in the video conferencing industry. These tools allow for effective blended learning in addition to remote-only teaching, so they can work well for a range of educators.
Keep in mind that Zoom continues to develop new features to compete with its fast-moving competitors. This should result in a market that is even more crowded in the long run.
The first for Zoom alternatives is tech giant Cisco who was acquired Webex in 2007 and built its reputation as a business video conferencing tool before pivoting in September 2020 with their Webex Classrooms (now Webex for Education) feature, designed specifically for the education space. Since then, Webex has been used by several universities including Rutgers and Purdue.
However, Webex for Education is considered a much more comprehensive option, since it integrates into an existing Learning Management System (LMS) for a price tag of almost $2,000 per year. Most smaller online courses and corporate training businesses should be able to serve their students well with the “Starter” and “Business” plans.
These plans include screen sharing, an interactive whiteboard, in-class polling, and document management features. However, Webex stands out from the crowd thanks to its strong security reputation, which is considered Zoom’s greatest weakness.
Here’s how Webex’s plans are organized.
- Student Capacity: 100 (free) / 200 (paid)
- Cost: Free / $35 per month
Even though Webex offers strong security ratings, their Starter and Business plans leave plenty to be desired for educators who have complex needs in the classroom. Attendance tracking and breakout room features are only available for their Classrooms platform – showing that Webex is making educators pay handsomely for the full experience.
here is another when it comes to Zoom alternatives. The Teams platform is part of a larger ecosystem of Microsoft products and includes built-in workspace chat and file storage systems. Further down the road, Teams is expected to replace the beleaguered Skype for Business application, which has seen little growth since classrooms and business went remote in 2020.
Teams has become popular with educators thanks to its full suite of features, including screen sharing, whiteboard, breakout rooms, and assignment tracking – which are available with their “Basic” pricing option.
- Student Capacity: 300 (free & paid).
- Cost: Free / $6.40 per active user per month
Microsoft Teams shouldn’t be thought of as an independent platform. It is a productive part of the Microsoft Office ecosystem and works best when you are also using OneDrive, Powerpoint, and others. If you already consider yourself a loyal Google products user, you should be considering the next item on our list instead.
Meet used to be the premium version of the popular Google Hangouts platform, but it has evolved to replace Hangouts entirely. The best part of this change is that a lot of its core features are offered as a part of its free plan.
You can access a wide range of education-focused features if you use Meet along with the rest of the G Suite for Education package (which includes Google Classroom). G Suite for Education is also free while offering plenty of resources for using the program effectively.
Keep in mind that if you want breakout rooms, attendance reports, and polling, you will need to pay up for their Google Workspace Essentials plan, which charges a monthly $8 fee per active user.
- Student Capacity: 100 (free) / 150 (paid)
- Cost: Free / $8 per active user per month
Google Meet is the most comprehensive platform on the list when you include its long list of Classroom features. Its introductory pricing plan gives you access to all of this – and there is no limitation to how you choose to use it to your advantage.
But here is by far the best when it comes to zoom alternatives. Now that the top video conferencing competitors in the remote teaching landscape have been identified, here’s how they stack up against DaDesktop’s all in one remote teaching platform.
First of all, there’s no worrying about which features are included in paid versus free plans. DaDesktop includes all of their most useful educator tools like screen sharing, breakout rooms, course storage, and more as a part of the introductory pricing package of $9.99 per user.
In addition, DaDesktop offers an extensive library of video tutorials and resources, along with support from online education experts to ensure that you are using the platform to the best of your abilities.
Here is our full list of features from the platform:
- Built-in video, audio, group texting, notifications, screen sharing, breakout rooms and more!
- The ULTIMATE in long distance remote classroom instruction!
- NO TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE NEEDED!
- Record your classroom for review or to share later!
- Add as many instructors as you want for your live teaching sessions!
- FREE Unlimited course storage. Set it and forget it!
- Set up in minutes, not hours or days.
- ABSOLUTELY FREE set up. Pay ONLY when you use our system for live teaching/training!
- One machine, unlimited users and students!
- Create up to 10 break out rooms for individual group learning or tutoring!
- Upload and control any curriculum with the click of a button!
- Connect with your entire classroom whether remote or in person, no limits!
- Reach students across the globe to any learning base on any type of computer!
- Connect with seamless precision, no down time and no lag time!
- Lecture and ask/answer questions in real time via chat or video!
- Pricing that beats the competition!
- Also great for “blended” teaching environments. Teaching both in person and online simultaneously!