20 Alternatives To Zoom For Online Teaching

While Skype has long been the standard and Google Hangouts has integration with Gmail and the Android operating system, in terms of video streaming platforms, 2020 has been the year of Zoom.

As of April 2020, was seeing up to 300 million daily users and with many school districts in the United States sticking with remote teaching and learning for the Winter 2020 semester, strong growth is likely for the foreseeable future.

And while this growth is well-earned as the reselt of video quality, a robust feature set, actually-usable free tiers, and other advantages, it’s still not perfect–and in fact, may not even be a good fit for your teaching this school year. So what are the best alternatives to Zoom for online teaching?

See also The Definition Of Synchronous Learning

What Is The Best Way To Stream For Teachers?

The big idea here is helping students learn and live streaming of video is an important part of that. What’s the best way for teachers to stream video content to their students?

Well, it depends. Which of these alternatives to zoom work best for you depends on your needs and factors including your budget, your expertise, how long you’ll be using the video streaming platform for teaching, the grade level and content area you teach, your privacy and security concerns, the bandwidth of your students, and so on.

Clearly, there is no ‘best’–and many of the choices below will reflect that. Some are built primarily for business use but could work well in a classroom. Others, like Twitch and Facebook Live aren’t purely ‘alternatives to zoom’ and certainly weren’t created for teachers but absolutely could function in a classroom in the right context, not to mention for university teachers, online tutoring, and more.

So, with that preface in mind, below are alternatives to Zoom for teachers.

Note: All pricing is accurate for standard, non-discounted pricing as of this article’s original publishing. We will try to update the post with accurate info if/as that changes.

22 Alternatives To Zoom For Online Teaching And Remote Learning

1. Google Meet

Description: Google’s video meeting tool that integrates with Gmail and, while limited compared to Zoom, has its applications.

Pricing: Free

2. Skype

Description: Microsoft’s video calling platform that can be used via mobile app through web browsers. It has stream recording, live subtitles, and also can be used for phone calls as well.

Pricing: Free

3. BlueJeans

Description: Verizon’s video and remote meeting platform is designed to offer simple and secure video meeting with meeting calendars, browser functionality, sidechat, and screensharing.

Pricing: Plans start at $9.99/mo

4. BigBlueButton

Description: Live whiteboards, presentation tool, chat, built-in polling, recording management, and other features for teachers.

Pricing: Ranging from $150/mo to $300/mo

5. Google Hangouts

Description: A less feature-rich version of Google Meet, Google Hangouts offers one-on-one calls, group calls, messaging, screensharing, and integration with G Suite

Pricing: G Suite pricing ranges from $6/mo to $25/mo

6. AnyMeeting

Description: A simple, low-scale virtual meeting platform

Pricing: A free tier for 4 participants (which is an odd limit, no?) up to $12.99/mo for up to 30

7. Webex

Description: Cisco-owned Webex is a standard business platform that offers many of the traditional features for video streaming for online meetings, from video conferencing to larger, online events and team whiteboarding. This one may be a better fit for a school department or district event rather than teacher to student interactions.

Pricing: Free tier up to 100 participants; prices for paid plans range from $13.50 to $26.95/mo

8. GoTo Meeting

Description: A longtime business staple for virtual meetings, GoToMeeting offers screen sharing, conference calling, video conferencing, and mobile use as well. It also offers meeting transcription which could be useful for school meetings that require documentation.

Pricing: Ranging from $12/mo for 150 participants and $16 for 250 up to Enterprise pricing

9. Sococo

Description: A virtual meeting platform that integrates with Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, and Microsoft Teams

Pricing: Starting $13.49/mo for up to 49 ‘seats’

10. Microsoft Teams

Description: With Skype integration, Microsoft Teams is a useful for online teaching. Like Slack, Trello, and other online team-based platforms, Microsoft Teams is far more of a ‘teaching platform’ (though it’s not designed expressly for teachers) than Zoom. It’s basically a

11. YouTube Streaming

Description: YouTube streaming is likely best for individual ‘learning channels’ that deliver consistent education-based content rather than a way for a teacher to host a classroom. That said, the latter is possible with a little planning if you already use and have extensive content on YouTube.

Pricing: Free

12. Whereby

Description: Browser-based video calling with screen recording, chat, screensharing, and more.

Pricing: Free for one user and one room; an available Pro account is $9.99/mo and offers one user three rooms while a business account offers multiple users and admins for up to ten rooms for $59.99/mo

13. Yotribe

Description: A browser-based videoconferencing tool designed for engagement with smaller groups. However, the signup and account creation is unclear, includes providing a phone number, and has a literal waiting list that you can ‘skip ahead’ of if you solicit signups from your friends. Not exactly a teacher-centered tool but if you’re interested, take a look.

Pricing: Yotribe appears to be free (for now?) but we were not able to test it out for long-term usage

14. Discord

Description: An open-source, invite-only platform originally created for people who play and stream video games. Discord is separated into interest-based channels with available video streaming available for Mac or via your browser.

Pricing: Free

15. Miro

Description: An online, collaborative whiteboard platform

Pricing: Free for up to three whiteboards; additional tiers up to $16/mo for unlimited boards and additional collaboration features

16. Twitch

Description: Twitch is the (extremely popular) video streaming tool for gamers (people who play video games). Again, not a tool designed expressly for teachers, twitch can be useful in informal learning environments, university settings, and game-based learning applications.

Pricing: Ranging from $4.99/mo to $24.99/mo

17. Vimeo

Description: YouTube-like Vimeo offers video hosting focused on privacy controls, private team projects, and video creation tools

Pricing: Ranging from $7/mo for 250GB of storage a year to $75/mo for up to 7TB of total storage

18. Facebook Live

Description: More for family members, fundraising, and ‘influencers’ than teachers and schools, Facebook Live still might be an option for a non-traditional classroom already using Facebook Groups–or just in need of a free video streaming tool with simple features and reasonable bandwidth requirements.

Pricing: Free

19. Wowza

Description: Live video streaming for businesses–likely useful on a district or state level but not for individual teachers and classrooms

Pricing: Ranging from $99/mo to $499/mo; free trial available

20. hopin.to

Description: Hopin features interactive podcasts, online workshops and conferences, and more. If your school or district needs something more ambitious than Zoom, hopin might be useful.

Pricing: In Early Access, hopin.to is $99/organizer/mo, and includes 100 tickets per organizer. Any number over 100 is $0.50 cents per registration.

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