Welcome back to Zoom university, are you ready to be kicked out three times an hour and not be able to hear through the lag? I know I sure am not. Zoom is not the way to go, Google Meet is a much stronger platform, which makes it the best option. Google Meet is better than Zoom.
With the COVID-19 breakout at the end of last year, schools across the nation had to quickly turn to conference platforms that would allow them to stay in touch with students after the year ended abruptly. With the hasty transition schools did not have much time to plan out what the rest of the school year was going to look like. During the beginning of this pandemic Zoom skyrocketed, but many districts are rethinking this decision and altogether banning it from their curriculum. Now with more experience with distance learning our school should also rethink Zoom, and go with Google Meet for the easiest and safest learning.
“Zoom can be a bit laggy, but it has some features that weren’t yet available in Meet, I believe Google is rolling them out soon. The waiting room, being able to end the meeting for everyone, the chat options, and the breakout rooms were really important to me. For those reasons, I prefer Zoom right now,” said History Teacher Andrew Schied.
From a teachers’ standpoint Zoom has its benefits, with multiple handy features. Before with Meet there was no waiting room so you simply joined whenever. Having the waiting room allows teachers to choose when students may “enter” their class, to prevent students from coming in before they are done teaching a different hour. The breakout room also allows students to interact with smaller groups from that meeting, which is a useful, but awkward feature for distance learning student interactment.
This being said, though some features are handy to teachers and students, I and other students have had multiple problems with Zoom, where in Google Meet we did not.
“I’ve noticed that Zoom often has worse audio as well that it is very choppy and sounds like a robot often, and that doesn’t happen as much with Meet,” said Raya Mergen-Henry ‘24.
Oftentimes I can not hear what my teachers are saying. This is problematic because the whole point of having these calls is to be able to have live learning with the teachers. If I can not understand what they are saying, I can not learn. On Google Meet I did not have a problem with being kicked off, or bad lags. Personally my Wi-Fi is not strong, which makes using Zoom harder.
Yes those extra features are nice to have, but the focus needs to be solely on what the student is able to take away from the call. I understand these features will enhance the learning process, but if a student can not understand, or see what is going on then the focus should be finding a platform that allows them to be able to stay on and hear. That platform is Google Meet.
Zoom’s safety is also questionable, as it has an infamous history of being hacked due to poor security. Already three weeks into the school year I have had one class almost hacked by an anonymous person in Aruba. The end of last year I never experienced this problem with Meet. It makes me wonder why the school district has decided that Zoom is better than Meet, when it is constantly getting hacked, and overall has a much worse quality.
So yes, Zoom has its positives, but the focus needs to be on being able to learn without extra hassle. Google Meet, though lacking certain features, is a much stronger platform. In order for me to get the most out of this year, I feel Zoom either needs to up its system or for us to altogether switch. As Schied pointed out,
“As far as having the option, that can be tricky. Obviously, we all want what is best for students, and people are going to feel more comfortable with one option or the other. But when one program is being used and both staff and students can be trained on how to best use one specifically, any technology or program really. It’s going to open up much more powerful outcomes for all.” said Schied.
We need to switch to Google Meet, and shift our focus onto mastering that system. We have already gone through a few months of Zoom, and students do not want it. I would much rather have the majority of my classes on Google Meet. In order for this year to be less stressful on all of us the school district needs to rethink their decision in having Zoom in our curriculum. We need to switch to Google Meet to get the most learning out of this year.