During normal times, there can be little debate about how to attend class. A given class cannot, for example, move throughout the building from day to day. Now that we attend class online, however, teachers can do almost exactly that, changing the digital space a classroom inhabits with the flick of a switch.
Such a new opportunity is bound to bring contention, and it certainly has. Whether you prefer Zoom or Google Meet it has been our experience that those on both sides have extremely strong opinions on the subject. To shed a little light on the reasons the two competitors are so evenly matched, we spent the past few days surveying teachers to find out what platform they use and why.
At this point, I am using Zoom. I made this choice upon learning that Meet did not offer Breakout Rooms, which I wanted to use in class on Day 1. I learned afterward that Meet now has an extension for breakout rooms. On Thursday, 8/27, the video and audio were noticeably laggy on Zoom, and I informed my 7th Hour class of my intention to switch to Meet the following week. Several of them told me it was a bad idea because their classes using Meet were having significant problems earlier in the day. This was confirmed by teachers who said the first 2 days on Meet were fine, but Day 3 was terrible due to students being dropped and significant lag. As a result, I am staying with Zoom for the time being.Mr. Tindall
I am more comfortable with Google Meet, but I value the breakout rooms that Zoom offers. In addition, student teachers were initially unable to join Google Meet because they did not have GRPS emails.Mrs. Emperor
Right now I prefer the ease and simplicity Google Meet offers because it ensures that my students find it easy to attend class. However, I personally think Zoom is a better product with more features and might switch to that later in the year.Mr. Miller
So far I prefer Zoom, mainly because it has a lot more functions. The function I like the most is the breakout rooms. It is possible to get an add-on for Google meet that will allow breakout rooms and other functions that Zoom has that Meet doesn’t, but I don’t want to deal with trying to make Google Meet do what I want. I want it to just work. I mainly switched to it though because I had a really bad day with Google Meet last week. It was just completely unreliable. Maybe next week Zoom will have the same problems, who knows? The one thing that I do like about Google Meet is that it appears easier to do classroom management.Mr. Beckwith
I like Zoom because I have used it more and am more familiar with it. It is also more easily available to people without GRPS emails, such as student teachers.Ms. Vogl
I prefer Google Meet because it integrates well with Google Classroom and I can easily post the link at the top of the page so students see it right away.Mr. Fillenworth
I used Google Meet for distance learning in the spring but I really value the breakout rooms, waiting rooms, voting, attendee gallery, and other features Zoom offers.Ms. Jackson (Donohue)
I personally prefer Zoom over Google Meet. It has more user-friendly features like an automatic grid view, sharing screen capabilities while also seeing students simultaneously, breakout rooms, and more overall control for in-class security purposes. Additionally, I have found that video and audio quality tend to be slightly higher on Zoom than Google Meet, but only marginally. Google Meet has many of these same capabilities, but only if you install some Chrome extensions. I already have 6 chrome extensions, so even more seems a bit overwhelming.Mrs. Alexander
I opted for Zoom because I found Google Meet too complicated and disliked having to configure finicky ad ons and manage the Google Calendar integration.Mr. Van Goor
I like that Zoom let’s me see everybody at once and I like offering my students breakout rooms. I am also more familiar with Zoom overall.Ms. Vecziedins
The teachers we were able to reach voted overwhelmingly in favor of Zoom, but what do tech experts have to say? Here’s what we found reading opinions from software designers. (citations below)
- More features
- Breakout rooms
- Raise Hand
- 100 people max in free meetings, 40 minute time limit
- Flawed encryption: experts have identified easily exploitable weaknesses in the system
- Gallery view
- Geared toward the desktop application
- Currently facing four law-suits over allegedly sharing user data with third parties
- Some features are unavailable on mobile
- Better integrations
- Fewer features
- 250 people max in free meetings
- All premium and Enterprise features available for free until at least September 30th
- Advanced encryption
- Gallery view
- Built for the web
- Confusing menu and dashboard
- Easier for students to call in via phone
- Share Docs, Sheets, and Slides through chat
- Longer meeting IDs make it much harder to attack through brute force exploits
- Users are given control over their own data
- All tools available to both desktop and mobile users
Overall teachers prefer Zoom, but designers and encryption experts seem to favor Google Meet. Is the better encryption and more advanced database management offered by Google Meet worth giving up the additional features of Zoom? That’s up to teachers to decide.
Hello, my name is Sophia Xu and I am currently a junior at City High Middle School. While I write about a wide variety of topics, my interests include pop culture and current events. Some other extracurriculars I am a part of are NHS, MIHS, Union Golf, Union Tennis, and Girl Up. For any questions or inquiries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Editor in Chief of The City Voice, finally graduated City High Middle School as part of the Class of 2022.