The world is facing one of the biggest calamities that it has ever faced. Over 3 million cases and over 2 lakh deaths. Everyone is living in fear. The lockdown in several countries had a put a big dent on the economical situation. Factories are shut down, people are working from home and even schools, colleges and places of worship are also closed. No gatherings whether social or religious are allowed. People are instructed not to go out of their homes unless very necessary.

 

Another sector that has been affected is education. The higher authorities of education are unable to conduct examinations and classes. Different classes and age groups are affected in different ways. Though it is easier to promote students to the next class without exams, it is not right or beneficial. Unless exams are conducted students do not study and without grasping the concepts of the present class, it is very difficult to understand the concepts of the higher class. 10th,12th and final year students at colleges are facing their own set of problems. Most admissions after these classes are on the basis of their marks as well as various entrance exams. These students are entering a new stage in their life be it pre-college years, college years, job life or masters. Another worry of the school authorities is onto being 10th and 12th students- whether they all be able to finish their curriculum before the 2021 board examinations.

 

As a result, most schools and colleges are trying their best to conduct online classes and give continuous assignments so that the students do not lose touch and can they can complete the portions. The keyword here is most. Most private schools conduct these classes. Though online, they have their own expenses. students need to have good speed internet connectivity. we live in a country where not all areas even have electricity connection. So many students are at a disadvantage. Many organisations are working towards bettering this problem.  Taking the case of students, schools have recognised that the best way to teach them is through live classes. Very few students actually look at the courses or recorded sessions. So, schools are using different online mediums to take live classes. Now let’s look at some of the platforms that can conduct online live classes or meetings:

 

Google Hangouts Meet

 

It is a communication software developed by Google. It has many features. It is very easy to use as well. Sessions can be recorded and shared so that students can watch it again later. Video and audio, as well as live chat options, are available. Files can also be shared. It can be used seamlessly between desktop and phone or tablet. According to the reviews the video and audio quality is good though not up to par with skype. Also, as the number of participants increase, the quality goes down. Also, with better internet connectivity, you get a better experience. other than that, google meet is one of the most popular online platforms for live discussions.

 

Webex

 

Another online platform used is Webex Meetings developed by the American Company Cisco Webex. Most webinars are conducted on Webex while discussions are conducted on google meets. Its features include document, application and desktop sharing, Integrated audio and VOIP for toll-free calling, and Video Conferencing. Also, online meetings can be recording, editing, and played back later for retrieve useful information. Works seamlessly between desktop and mobile. One of the best features is its audio to text transcripts that WebEx creates for each meeting. So, one doesn’t have to manually make notes of a meeting. Talking about the cons, the mobile app seems to have functionalities as compared to the desktop app. Also, a slower net connection gives poor results. It’s not as easy to use as google meet.

 

Zoom

 

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom) is an American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. It has great video and audio calling quality with less buffering. Easy to schedule events and exporting to the calendar . has screen sharing facilities as well as conferencing up to 10 people at a time.  Also, the chat function allows sharing URLs, pictures etc so that the entire class can see these real-time. It helps to liven up the class. There some technological difficulties with Zoom according to some of the reviews. Some say it’s difficult to use and is very distracting for students. Example the common chat room. But there are options to control these.

 

Google Classroom 

 

Google Classroom is a free web service, developed by Google for schools, it aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading academic activities in a paperless way. The main purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between student and  teacher 

 

Google Classroom combines other  Google services like Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, Gmail for, and Google Calendar. Students can be invited to join a class through code, or automatically imported from a domain. Each class can create a separate folder in the respective user’s Drive, where the student can submit work to be graded by the teacher. Mobile apps, available for iOS and Android devices, let users take photos and attach to assignments and share files from other apps and also access information offline. Teachers can monitor the progress for each student, and after being graded, teachers can return work along with comments.