Most online teaching companies come with their own built in software for you to leverage, making class an easy and enjoyable experience for both the teacher and student.
But what about platforms and companies that don’t have their own built in system and instead require you to use your own software to conduct the class?
In this free material, I’m going to break down why Zoom is better than Skype for online English teachers.
If you have no heard of Zoom before, don’t worry you’re not alone. Started in 2011, Zoom was designed with the business person and online educator in mind at a time when online teaching really was not a “thing” yet.
Zoom is a high quality piece of software that has a free plan and is easy to use, particularly when compared to Skype. It’s also why it produces a higher quality video than Skype because people who use Zoom, use it for a it’s excellent video features.
Zoom can record the classroom with ease, Skype Can’t
Zoom not only offers the text and video chat for free (you can do calls as well), it also has built in recording features that Skype is lacking at the moment. It can be achieved with Skype through a third party program, but this makes using Skype more complex and less reliable.
If you’ve ever tried to attempt a voice conference with Skype you’ll understand how it’s simply lacking in reliability. With constant connection issues and not being able to find users easily visa their search function. Zoom is better on all fronts in this regard
The built in recording feature of Zoom is very useful as an online English teacher because the student can get a copy of the classroom to review. This allows them to revisit areas they struggles with and to revisit the lesson objectives so they can prepare properly for the follow up lesson.
The fact that you can record the video can also be marketed as an up-sell on your end as a teacher. Teachers who use Skype and only Skype are often times unware that it is even possible to record conference sessions. Making this just one additional point to using Zoom as an online English teacher.
Lastly, you can re-purpose video lessons as part of a course or to use a potential demonstration class when applying to an online English teaching company.
Zoom was made for online teaching
Skype has it’s place, but that place is for everyday, casual use. Zoom is designed to conduct conference call with multiple callers at the same time while also being able to have closed captioning, screen sharing, group messaging, mobile collaboration with members being able to add annotations then you’re going to want Zoom over Skype.
It’s quickly becoming the go-to tool for teachers who teach online to their own students because it come with all these features that make for a dynamic and engaging classroom environment. Skype on the other hand is designed for simple calls. If you’re teaching, you’re goal should be to create an outstanding online environment and with Zoom you can do that.
Zoom has a free plan
While you should consider buying Zoom if you’re looking to start teaching your own students on your own terms, it should be noted that Zoom does have a free to use plan. When should you upgrade? When you plan on having multiple students in the classroom at the same time. The basic Zoom plan allows for enough features to conduct an engaging classroom that will allow you to complete your lesson objectives.
No User Names, Students are Invited
Skype really drops the proverbial ball in this regard. I’ve had numerous issues with students not being able to find me on Skype. Zoom is just simpler to use. Your students simply need to download the Zoom app and then you can send them an email with a link to join.
No user names, not adding people, just an easy to click link. This makes for an excellent experience for all involved and allows you the teacher to not worry your student missing class.
Additional features that make Zoom better than Skype for Online Teachers
When using Zoom you can implement screen sharing for a tablet, smartphone or laptop. While smartphones are not ideal for an online classroom, tablets are one of the preferred methods of language learners.
Zoom also allows you to again take screenshots, mute specific participants, create groups, send invitations as previously mentioned as well as relevant files during the lesson and a screen recording of the actual lesson.
Not to mention that Zoom is much more reliable than Skype (which is one of the reasons why it has never been promoted as a conferencing software). When you’re implementing your own online classes reliability is essential and you can trust Zoom to have a more stable connection than you can Skype.
Chroma key and Zoom
Zoom supports virtual backgrounds which are becoming more and more important as an online educator. You’ll need a green screen of your own to get the best effect of course, but this is a big difference over Skype.
Update: Skype just launched an ability to have a virtual background in order to match Zoom. It’s good, but not as good as Zoom.
Try it out!
Zoom has a free basic plan. You’re able to try it out and check out all the features yourself. You have nothing to lose. It’s a really helpful tool if you ever find yourself wanting to move into teaching your own students through your own teaching business.
There have been talks about security issues related to Zoom being based in China and collecting data. Apart from any political issues, Zoom is a superior choice over Skype.
Another slight issue is that Zoom is not as popular as Skype, but this is quickly changing in large part to the clunky limitations Skype has when compared to Zoom.