My friend and I got together to make a comparison of various video conference platforms with various technology. The results were interesting to say the least, with definite pro and cons to each platform. What we compared was video quality/responsiveness to lag, audio quality, reactiveness to various frequency ranges and double-stopping, voice/vocal quality, ability to interrupt, and wifi vs LTE via phone companies. Here is the scoop:
It's a web-based video conferencing platform that allows you to create a 1-on-1 or group meeting room with online invites via a shareable link copy/pasted to various media. Getting the link and setting up a conference call took a bit more time than usual, and is probably better for a larger group lecture class vs a 1-on-1 lesson.
One of the original video conferencing and web based phone services, has over time improved their quality of service in various aspects. Has a nice 30-day viewable punch-in video record feature for both pc or mobile phones in the app for demonstration. A nice feature is the chatroom history so that one can type in notes or comments and have a record of that.
This platform seems to have taken over AOL AIM (instant messenger) as a chatroom service, and its 1-on-1 video conferencing is integrated with the chat experience, so it can be a convenient way to make a call. It has a chatroom history so that one can type in notes or comments and have a record of that just like in Skype. There is no recording of calls here.
An exclusive Apple-to-Apple product integrated platform that emphasizes a simple and effective video conference only. No chat or recording capabilities.
A platform very similar to ZOOM, which is google account based tied to an email address and accessible via email web applications. No recording capabilities.
A video conferencing and chat platform similar to Skype with chat history. It is great for pre-video recording demos and uploading it for better video/audio quality, as it doesn't seem to compress the file too much. I sometimes use this app for uploading higher quality sounding demo videos if needed.
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Take-aways: All of the platforms seem to have checks and balances to each, which makes each platform unique for the user. Overall all of these platforms have not been able to have a high fidelity audio option, which would be great so one can plug in and use a great mic and speaker set-up. Audio compression is an issue, and I think these companies will see a rise in their stock and users if they can make record features easier and improve the sound response or allow options to prioritize sound quality and cut-out over video.
I found that using a combination of clear spoken explanation along with singing has been a very effective way to get points across. Also describing bowing while singing or notes to get a point across seems to be better. Conferencing takes vocals better so singing and phrasing vocally is an asset to video conference teaching, as well as using the camera to get close-ups of angles for positioning and technique, etc.
For my personal use over time, I found that using Skype had the best combination of features and tools available to get my messages in learning across in the most efficient way, whether its punching in a video demo, typing in notes using two devices on the same account (one phone camera, pc typing), the ability to hear notes and adjust volume if its gets too bright as well as easily get the attention of the student. Your own experience may vary with these platforms, but I hope this guide will allow you to "be in the room" as much with your community during this time and afterwards. Please comment or share your thoughts here, or send a PM on my avatar if you have any questions. I would be happy to share additional thoughts on these platforms with you!
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