Fill in the blank: Best online class platform

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As the pandemic continues, students and professors have had to adapt to learning online.

The best platform or app for online classes and meetings is…

Jack Baudoin: Microsoft Teams

During this global pandemic, there are multiple platforms that I have been using to attend class. While they are all good and all attain the same goal, Microsoft Teams is by far the best. It has the easiest setup and the person talking takes up the entire screen. This allows them to have the full attention of everyone in the class. Having the option to open or close the chat menu is a very great option as well, because if no one is talking in the chat having it up can be a little distracting. Also, since it is a Microsoft application, you can sync up your Microsoft account to make getting on the app a lot easier. Like any technology, it cannot be completely perfect, and there is one downside. If you do not have a Microsoft account, you have to follow a link to the class meeting every week. If you cannot find the link, or it does not work for you, you are sadly out of luck. However, this has never been a problem for people in my class, and we are able to see each other just fine. While I would still prefer to actually be in class face-to-face, Microsoft Teams is the second best option to this.

Summer Fitzgerald: Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate, although is the default online meeting space for Blackboard, does just the perfect job for online classes. Unlike Zoom, there are no separate windows or tabs to constantly keep track of that clog up your computer screen. Its accessibility is very easy as students can just go straight to the class Blackboard page and click the same exact link for every meeting, rather than dig around in their inboxes for a specific access code. Collaborate is also its own platform strictly through individual classes on Blackboard, so its features never interfere with other inboxes and commitments that may be held on Teams. Personally, it can be a hassle when I am in a Teams lecture of over 50 students and its live chat is spamming my phone’s notifications right alongside all of my other Teams inboxes for work, organizations, friends, etc. All in all, Blackboard Collaborate is the perfect setup for smooth, professional lectures and meetings. 

Danielle Elliott: Zoom

Growing up and using video chat applications like Skype, Oovoo, and Google Hangouts with my friends and family, I assumed when the pandemic first hit those would be the most commonly used applications to connect with people. That was until one app became a new common household word: Zoom. We all use it now. For classes, work, student organizations, interviews, churches or meeting with your family and friends, Zoom is an amazing platform. We are currently six months into the pandemic and Zoom is still number one in the “Top Free Apps” section of the Apple App Store with Google Meet falling behind in second and Microsoft Teams in 12th. The best thing about Zoom is just how user friendly it is. Almost anyone can use this application as long as they can click on a link. The calls are also high-quality which can be hard to find in video chat applications. When giving a presentation or writing something on the whiteboard feature, the quality of the call is amazing and attendees can easily read the PowerPoint slides and hear what is being shared. As for larger groups like lectures or a workplace’s full team meeting, Zoom offers the ability to use what are called Breakout Rooms to split up the large group and allow smaller groups to meet and discuss the content. This feature is being used every day by teachers and bosses. Not only is Zoom effective in allowing people to meet easily, but they also have features that allow for more fun such as the built-in beautification filter and their virtual backgrounds. If wearing a mask everyday to meet others in person has been giving you some unwanted acne, there is no need to worry because Zoom will clear that right up. There is also the ability to change your background. The backgrounds allow for some enjoyment as you meet with friends and family and laugh at the different places you can be, such as outer space or on the beach. The popularity of Zoom speaks for itself, it is definitely the best choice for any online meeting.