There’s a new “medical phenomenon” across the world in 2021, and surprisingly it isn’t a coronavirus mutation or virus.
In fact, you have probably experienced it. Maybe it was during the holiday season while following health guidelines and catching up with family members remotely. Or at the end of a workday spent reclining on the couch (wasn’t this supposed to be a dreamy way to get work done?), you find yourself feeling sluggish and drained.
This is the feeling of being “Zoomed Out”, or what some are calling “Zoom Fatigue”.
This video conferencing software has become ubiquitous in almost every aspect of life since 2020, and nowhere is this more pronounced than in the world of education. But it is not good for a true online teaching platform.
Students and teachers alike put in long hours on Zoom, and its ineffectiveness is starting to show. Here’s why Zoom isn’t getting the job done for online teaching anymore – and some suggestions for better tools that you can use instead. You simply need a much better online teaching platform.
The Problem With Zoom
There are a few core problems with applying Zoom to the educational environment.
On one hand, it is a cookie-cutter solution that had to be put into action very quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic forced educators online. It became popular because it is easy to use. It has reliably good video quality, screen sharing, and cloud recording – the main things that many educators need to get the job done. But again, it’s not a online teaching platform for “like classroom teaching”
Over time, some significant weaknesses started to show. Major security flaws have been identified, which is a big problem considering so many people have been on at least one Zoom call in the past year.
This led the company to stop development on new features to tackle security issues, which led to them falling behind their competitors. Notably, a company called Class for Zoom (which isn’t affiliated with Zoom in any way) debuted sleeker features for educators like built-in assignment and quiz integrations, and a cohesive design meant to prevent teachers from “tab surfing” to complete every aspect of their lesson in real-time.
Why Zoom is So Exhausting
Aside from breaking down the weaknesses in Zoom’s features (to be fair, they have improved their integrations in recent months), there are other aspects of Zoom’s reality that are harder to escape.
Susan D. Blum, a professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame recently gave a great explanation for this in industry publication Inside Higher Ed.
“There is constant need to repair, to apologize. People are constantly talking at the same time and interrupting someone else’s signal. I am constantly switching views from one screen to another, to scan the faces (at least those who haven’t chosen to post a blank screen, permitting rest, multitasking or even absence)…The platform is made for a single speaker at a time. It’s the folk model of how conversation works, but not what we actually find in practice.”
Zoom takes a lot of energy (which is required when staring into a camera while hyper-aware of how engaged you look) without giving any psychological rewards that you receive from talking face-to-face. This explains the drained feeling that comes after a long day of Zooming.
The problem is that Zoom isn’t designed for in-depth online teaching that requires engagement and collaboration.
Finding The Right Online Teaching Alternative
Now that we have laid out where Zoom fails to work for online teaching, you might be wondering “so what?”. Like we mentioned earlier, the whole world is on Zoom. It was hard enough to get students and instructors to figure out how to work the platform in the first place. Who would want to go through that again?
For those who work in higher education, you might not have a say in what platforms are used for day-to-day instruction.
But if you run a smaller online course business or corporate training program there are other affordable options out there that can be much more effective for the kind of in-depth, personalized education that smaller-scale online teaching demands.
So what’s the key to finding the right Zoom alternative for you? Start off by finding a platform designed for virtual teaching.
DaDesktop: The Ultimate All in One Virtual Teaching Platform
DaDesktop takes some of the same features that Zoom has implemented to make it work for educators and ratchets it up a notch.
First of all, DaDesktop’s screen sharing, breakout room, and text communication features are designed with one thing in mind – emulating the in-person teaching experience.
On top of that, setup is painless and you can access an extensive library of video tutorials and resources to take full advantage of the platform. We also have a full team of support staff who can help you feel 100% comfortable with the platform before you introduce it to your students.