The idea of online education is not new. However, its value has become especially prominent during the last year’s Coronavirus crisis when the world suffered from school closures and the necessity of moving to online learning spaces.
For some schools and colleges, the transition was hard. Others, on the other hand, were more eager to invest in new effective classroom environments and switch to video streaming platforms designed for learning.
Why was it a good decision? While online learning doesn’t need anything more than a display of a decent size and a reliable internet connection, it is often too impersonal, which makes it hard for many students to comprehend the material. Streaming platforms, on the other hand, allow broadcasting videos in real time when students can ask questions, engage in discussions, and leave commentaries.
Most educational video streaming services also allow teachers to record their lessons and save them to digital libraries. Students can come back to these records later and revise the material they might have missed or comprehended wrong.
There are plenty of streaming platforms teachers can use for their online classes. However, it’s worth paying attention to the features they offer. A good streaming platform will meet the following 5 criteria:
Direct recording of live classes. Having a recorded version of online classes is highly important for students’ efficiency and progress, as they should have the ability to revisit your lesson when in doubt. You may bother with manual recording, including uploading and transferring files, editing videos, and ensuring that everyone receives them. Or, you may choose a live streaming platform with a direct recording feature that keeps everything centralized and automated.
Mobility. The idea of online education is in learning anytime and anywhere. This means that both teachers and students need to have an opportunity to access the platform from any device they have at hand, from a personal computer to a smartphone.
Content Delivery Network. To ensure high-quality delivery of learning content online, it should be optimized for traffic, and CDN can provide that. The network replicates content, thus, making sure it exists in several places simultaneously. Depending on the traffic, such networks can scale up or down to avoid crashing, which allows accessing of as many students as necessary.
Automated CC support. Closed captions are an essential part of any educational video. They compensate for audio lags, as well as help non-natives and students with hearing impairments to understand the material better. However, teachers can’t be expected to echo what they say in typing, as much as add closed captions post factum – they won’t simply have the desired effect. That’s why choosing a streaming service with automated CC support is of the essence.
Privacy Protection. When choosing a video streaming platform, schools should be especially demanding as to their security protocols and private data protection. By all means, they want to prevent unauthorized disclosure of students’ personal information and avoid offenders joining the stream.
That said, we distinguish the next five platforms that we consider the most effective and reliable for educational streaming.
Vplayed is a video streaming platform that features full customization, video recording, as well as the highest level of data and privacy protection. This allows all members of a video streaming process to enjoy the lesson without worrying about the safety of their personal data. The platform allows both audio and video streaming and is optimized for long broadcasts. It is compatible with multiple devices, which ensures absolute freedom and mobility. Once you are up to an educational session with your class, you can go live anytime and anywhere you want.
Much more than just a live video streaming platform, Zype offers a whole number of useful functions for both teachers and learners. Thus, teachers can add to the server their previously recorded lessons and guides, share screenshots, and other learning materials. Students, in their turn, can sort out these materials to make up content-specific playlists to access them from any device. One of the best features, however, is its accessibility options, where users can issue passkeys, launch paid broadcasts or set subscriptions to allow only specific audiences.
Another great streaming platform is Panopto. Compatible with all operational systems, it also features top-level security protocols to ensure a safe video streaming environment. Similar to Zype, users can create video libraries and host pre-recorded videos. However, the best here is its streaming from multiple devices support. This function can be especially useful for lecturers who seek to improve the learning experience of their students by inviting a fellow speaker to their virtual classroom.
Kaltura Video Cloud Platform for Education is a centralized service specifically designed to ensure live streaming and VOD experiences for online courses and virtual learning. The platform includes a whole range of products such as virtual classrooms, lecture recording, hosting webinars, and more for engaging, interactive, and effective student learning.
YouTube might not be a platform specifically designed for educational purposes but it fulfills these functions brilliantly. Being one of the first video hosting platforms, it now comes pre-loaded on any Android device and is compatible with any other operational system, which makes its accessibility features second to none. Teachers can stream or upload their lessons anytime and from any location as long as there is a stable internet connection. Protected by strict Google security protocols, teachers can host webinars, workshops, stream lectures, or upload any other learning content without fear of any accident data leak.
Ellen McGee, education and learning coach and Pro-papers expert consultant, is sure: “When you want your stream to reach large audiences across the world, going live on YouTube is the way to do that”.