Which online classroom do people use?

Hi all,

I have recently just tried to teach a lesson in the Tutorful online classroom, however the student could not connect very well. They kept dropping out and couldn’t see the screen when they were logged in. They have contacted Tutorful and I think they are arranging a refund.

However going forward, they have asked if I could use a different classroom. I haven’t got any experience using a different platform like zoom for example so I am looking for some advice. Which is the best classroom to use and is there a charge? Etc.

Thanks

Hi Dani,
Zoom is free and works ok, though you’ll have to screen share whiteboard/documents. Though it is worth trying to use the classroom again- maybe the student’s own internet connection was too slow/patchy? Sometimes turning off the video can help.
The old Tutorful classroom was better IMHO and is basically Learncube- I believe you can sign up for this for a basic free package but I haven’t tried it. Have a look round the forum though as I’m pretty sure there’s a discussion about it somewhere.

Google Meet is good. It’s free and you just need a gmail account.

I use Zoom but this is the paid version which comes to 12 pounds a month + VAT. If you pay upfront then you can save 20%.

There is a free version which only allows one other participant, which at first glance seems ok but you would need a 3rd account if you wanted to use a writing tablet as well in the lesson. The other thing is that there is no cloud recording option but you can record locally to your computer.

The other other one I have used is the free version of Teams but there is no whiteboard option there at all last I looked back in June - not sure if available on a paid version though.

Hi Dani,

I use Learncube. There is a free version, but make sure you choose the virtual classroom instead of the whiteboard option! I have the pro virtual classroom version, which is very similar to the old Tutorful classroom. It’s not quite identical, but it’s (IMHO) certainly vastly superior to the new Tutorful classroom. I’ve experienced far fewer technical problems, even with students who don’t have a great connection.

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I am also transferring many of my students over to LearnCube and the fact that you can save files and show YouTube clips was a game changer for me.

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I use bitpaper and zoom mostly. It’s far superior to tutorful’s classroom.

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I use Zoom. I love it. It’s £12 a month, but it’s no nonsense and has never let me down. There’s whiteboard and you can share your screen and show YouTube videos and anything else you want. For each lesson I prepare a Power Point and share it over Zoom. You can then annotate the slides as you go along which you can’t do on Teams and it’s good way to structure the lesson and stay on track.
Teams has a whiteboard but it never works for me and you have to download it separately. Teams drives me crazy, but I have to use it for work.
Zoom can be free, but as far as a know, it only allows 45 minutes. It then cuts off which is quite unprofessional even if you are doing 45 minute lessons. You want to be able to say “bye” to your student.
On Zoom, you can use the same ID for your class, so there’s no need to email them different IDs for each lesson. There’s a waiting room so that you can make sure that you have the right student coming in and not some random person.
I have never used Tutorful’s classroom because I am very comfortable with Zoom, so why change what is working?

I also use Zoom but I don’t pay for the Premium version. The Free version is completely fine - you can share screen with or without sound, annotate it, send links in the chat, use the whiteboard, save the whiteboard as jpeg and many more.

The 40 minute time limit only activates when there are 3 or more people in the meeting room at the same time (including the waiting room). So it only happens occasionally when a student enters the waiting room 10 minutes early while I’m still finishing off the previous lesson. Most of them turn up right on time. It is an inconvenience when they don’t but I’m not sure if it’s worth £100+ per year. @Twiglet78 do you get any additional features with the Premium version apart from no time limit?

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I also use the free version of zoom and love it!

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Yeah I just use Zoom. Can’t be bothered with the Tutorful classroom.

I use the Tutorful classroom, rarely have a problem with it unless a student has a Wifi issue.