2020 has been all about staying home – thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought us things that we never thought were possible otherwise.
Needless to say, it also opened doors that we didn’t know existed. Who knew employers who never entertained your leave requests would transition to a completely work-from-home setup?Could you have imagined attending school from home?
Well, COVID-19 has made it (read: forced it) all possible!
With the changing needs of the time, everyone modified their ways of doing certain things, because, in all honesty, there wasn’t really another option. As far as the schools are concerned, they were the first to shut down and the last to re-open.
Schools around the world remained closed for a good 5 months. The annual curriculums couldn’t be completed if nothing was done to address an issue that nobody knew the duration of.
That’s when the idea of live streaming popped up, and schools around the world started conducting classes through live streaming to keep the students right on the track.
Many educational institutes worldwide have still not opened because it’s very difficult to make children follow SOPs, and nobody is willing to take a risk. So, we see that the only option right now is to continue conducting classes through live streaming software.
A survey conducted in 2016 showed that 52% of universities were using video streaming solutions, and as of today, this percentage is rapidly moving towards 100%.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best free live streaming software programs that have been a great help to educational institutes in the past, during this challenging time, and will be in the future!
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the best free streaming services for schools, we got you covered:
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Live Streaming for Schools
Live streaming for schools is an essential tool that enables teachers and students to interact across borders.
While many educational institutes were already using this tool, with the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of schools have quickly started adopting the concept of teaching through live streaming.
And with that, live streaming platforms that weren’t a hot thing earlier have become hot cakes! Let’s have a look at some of the best free live streaming software for schools.
Zoom isn’t a live streaming software but rather a video conferencing software that has a live streaming feature as well.
It’s one of the most popular software that people all around the world are using today, for both professional and educational purposes. The majority of the schools are conducting their online classes through Zoom.
If you ask us which software offers the best free live streaming for schools, Zoom would be our first choice. It unifies group messaging, online meetings, and cloud video conferencing in a single platform.
It offers the best audio, video, and screen-sharing experience on all operating systems, including Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Blackberry, H.323/SIP room systems, as well as Zoom Rooms. The features that bring Zoom to the top of our list are:
- High-quality live streaming
- Convenient scheduling
- Can host up to 100 participants at a time
- Students can signal their teachers wordlessly if they wish to ask a question
- Virtual whiteboard
- Screen-sharing feature
- Students don’t need to have an account to access a live stream. They can join through the meeting link that their teacher provides
Google Hangouts Meet
Another great option for live streaming for schools is Google Hangouts Meet. This software is especially good for those that are already using G Suite for Education.
With Google Hangouts Meet, teachers can have as many as 250 participants in a live video session at the same time for free (in case they’re using G Suite for Education).
It gives teachers an opportunity to teach their students face-to-face without having to be under the same roof.
Although a lot of people associate live streaming to professional use only, Google Hangouts Meet has proven to be a highly useful tool for teaching a group of students (up to 250), individual, and distance learning.
Some of the features that make this live streaming software for schools to stand out include:
- Easy setup
- Can make multiple Google Classrooms
- Secure conversation
- Presentation of Google Slides
- Chat and microphone features are enabled
- Pre-recorded sessions can be uploaded for the students to view offline in the future
Skype in the Classroom
Skype is one of the most widely used software for professional coordination and correspondence, but did you know that you can use the same free platform of Skype for school education as well?
With Skype in the Classroom, it’s now possible for schools to conduct live teaching sessions for their students, regardless of where the teachers and students are located. You can Find, Create, and Share a lesson with your students from anywhere in the world.
The features of Skype in the Classroom that make it a noteworthy option for online virtual education include:
- Virtual field trips
- Skype lessons
- Mystery Skype
- Skype collaborations
- Guest speakers
YouTube Live Streaming
YouTube is a go-to video streaming platform for people around the globe. What many don’t know is that YouTube offers high-quality live streaming services as well. YouTube Live is one of the best options when it comes to live streaming for schools.
Users can use their current YouTube account to go live with their students. The best thing about YouTube Live Streaming is that it’s absolutely free, and there are no retractions as to how many hours you can use it for live streaming.
YouTube is the ultimate video streaming platform for the masses, but what makes it a reliable option for live streaming for schools?
- Unlimited streaming
- Easy video sharing
- High accessibility
- Convenient scheduling
- Real-time conversations
- Basic video editing features for pre-recorded lessons and sessions
Facebook is another wonderful free platform that schools can use to live stream lessons and classes. You can use your school’s official Facebook page, but that might raise a privacy concern since it’s probably a public page.
In this case, making a closed group for your students and then going live is one of the best free options for conducting online classes. There are numerous reasons why you should consider Facebook Live for your school lessons:
- Easy to go live
- Real-time conversations
- Screen-sharing feature
- Secure live streaming (in case of a closed Facebook group)
- Ability to save the live stream for future viewing
The next on the list of best free live streaming software for schools is YouNow. It’s a platform that makes it possible to go live or simply watch live broadcasts by others.
It implies that teachers can go live with their lessons, and students can tune in to the live streaming.
Although parents are advised to supervise their children while they’re using YouNow, there is no doubt about how convenient and efficient this live streaming tool is for schools and students alike. Some of the features that make YouNow stand out are:
- High-quality video streaming
- Ability to save live streams for the students to watch later, in case of absence or for revision purposes
- Easy and quick set up
Periscope is a Twitter-specific video streaming platform. Both the host and the participants need to have a Twitter account. Periscope can be used to go live from anywhere in the world, and there’s no reason why its use can’t be expanded into the field of education.
There are a number of benefits that are associated with using this free live streaming for schools. It makes way for creating multimedia projects that expands the scope for learning for the students.
It allows interactive live sessions that make it possible for teachers to use Periscope for private tutoring as well. The many features that have brought Periscope to our list of the best live streaming for schools include:
- Anyone who has a Twitter account can conveniently tune in to the live stream
- A live stream is accessible to a huge number of audience
- Live streams can be saved for future viewing
- Makes way for creating multimedia projects
- Allows one-on-one interactions possible
You all may already know that Instagram is a top photo-sharing app. You may even be aware of the Instagram Live feature. But did you know that many schools are using the Instagram Live feature for conducting online lessons!
One of the reasons why Instagram Live is a great platform for live streaming for schools is it’s free, and a large audience can watch the live streams at the same time.
Instagram Live is equipped with useful features like ‘Invite a Friend’ and ‘Questions in Live’ that enable you to add your students to the lessons directly and ask questions or answer the questions that they ask you during your live teaching session.
The idea of using Instagram Live for educational purposes is still new, but it definitely comes with some benefits.
- It offers good visibility
- Students can turn on notifications that’ll let them know when their teacher goes live
- Great platform for productive communication and interactions
- Invite a Friend feature allows teachers to add their students to the live session directly
- Questions in Live makes may way two-way question and answer session, that enhances the overall learning experience for the students
Education through live streaming is going to be the new normal soon. Although the concept got popularized during the COVID-19, it has been around for quite some time now. Many schools and universities have been using the live streaming tool to teach students beyond borders.
Today, live streaming has become an indispensable tool for both students and teachers. It offers the teachers the convenience of teaching the students in the comfort of their homes. On the other hand, students can enjoy a more relaxed learning environment and peace of mind.
With ongoing technological advancements, there’s no doubt about the fact that soon, all the loopholes of live streaming for schools that persist today will be dealt with effectively.
The day isn’t very far away when the world will switch to remote learning, with live streaming platforms being the foundation of the new education model!