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The Best (Free) Video Conferencing Software For Education And Teachers

Education has drastically changed since the start of the pandemic. Get ahead of the changes by finding which video conferencing software works best for you. The great news is that many of the top choices are free.
February, 24 2022 |
student in classroom

Back to school season is in full swing, and it’s become clear that this year, things are going to look a lot different. With the safety of students and faculty in mind, the majority of schools across the country have altered their curriculums to include a variety of alternative instructional methods in addition to or in place of traditional in-person classes. One tool that has become a basic necessity for practically all instructors is video conferencing and with so many different teaching styles and course formats to take into consideration, schools are offering teachers and professors their choice of a few of the top platforms. But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide what features you want or which one will meet your needs. So, whether you’re an IT manager looking for a video conferencing solution for your school to try before you buy or you’re a teacher trying to figure out the right platform for you and your students, we’re here to take you through the best free video conferencing software for education.


When in doubt, should you Zoom it out?


Zoom videoconferencing software

Zoom has been one of the top conferencing platforms that schools including UC Berkeley, University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh, Princeton, and more have turned to for conducting online learning classes for a few reasons. The team at Zoom has made a lot of updates to their software in terms of security in recent months to ensure a safe and secure online learning experience for everyone. They are also known as probably the most user-friendly platform and they’ve also produced a number of resources for teachers who are new to using video conferencing. Teachers are mainly utilizing Zoom as a video conferencing tool to host distance learning classes or virtual office hours with students. But for now, let’s go over what the free plan has to offer!

  • Zoom offers high-quality HD video conferencing
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Ability to record meetings for future use
  • Easy scheduling with a Chrome extension
  • Option to create break out rooms for students for projects, discussions, etc.
  • Annotation option when the instructor or host shares the screen
  • 100 students per meeting
  • Meet for up to 40 minutes
  • Technical support

Which Team(s) are you on?


Teams videoconferencing software

Another top platform that has been chosen by many educational institutions like the University of Texas – Dallas, University of Denver, Baylor University, and the University of Miami to name a few, is Microsoft Teams. Teams is an online collaboration tool that isn’t limited to just video calls. This platform offers a great option for collaboration including file sharing, a chat, storage, and more. Teachers are choosing this platform as an easy way to chat with students, hold virtual office hours, and conduct conference calls mostly in smaller groups. They also offer an upgraded version of the software but the free version offers plenty of features for students and teachers.

  • Easy to use
  • Up to 300 attendees
  • Attendance features
  • Digital whiteboard
  • Virtual break out rooms
  • Screen sharing
  • Background blur
  • Secure platform for students and teachers
  • Easy access to other Microsoft Office apps

Are you ready to Meet up?


Google Meet videoconferencing software

Google Meet (formerly Google Hangout) has been another software that educators are choosing to implement in schools. Many schools including Carnegie Mellon, Chapman, UC Riverside, Boston University, and others like that it is part of the G-Suite platform and provides students and staff with easy access to video conferencing and other easy to use group collaboration tools all within one platform. They too have a variety of plans and have also revised previous restrictions on their free plan until the end of September. Let’s see what Google Meet has to offer.

  • Up to 100 students allowed per meeting
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Meet for up to one hour
  • Live closed captions
  • Screen sharing
  • Enhanced security and 2-step verification
  • Integration with Google Classroom

Will Webex be the one?


Cisco Webex videoconferencing software

The next option is Cisco’s Webex platform. Webex is more commonly used for corporate and business video conferencing meetings but it has broken out into the education space as another remote learning tool. Many teachers at schools like the University of Georgia, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Mississippi State, and more are turning to Webex because of its enhanced security. Instructors and institutions don’t want their virtual classes to be interrupted by unwelcome attendees who hack into their distance learning course. They also offer a lot of similar tools that Zoom offers to keep students engaged. So, what does Webex’s free plan include?

  • Up to 100 students allowed per meeting
  • Meet for up to 50 minutes
  • Screen sharing
  • Polling, hand raising, in meeting chat
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Encryption
  • Ability to lock personal meeting rooms

Each of the platforms mentioned above are all great for video conferencing in their own way. You just need to determine what you want your workflow to look like and how those collaboration tools will fit into the way you run your virtual classroom.


Need some hardware to go with the software in your classrooms?


It’s crucial to have a solution that will be easy for instructors to learn and use that won’t disrupt the flow of the class. You not only need audio that’s reliable but scalable to fit in rooms of all shapes and sizes. With the Stem Ecosystem, there is a solution that can be customized to fit in every classroom for distance, remote, or hyflex learning courses.

Download the Guide to Classroom Audio for Higher Education

Stem Ecosystem
Discover the ecosystem that gives you the freedom to create, manage, and scale your collaboration space audio exactly the way you want.