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I’m always on the lookout for the hot technology in higher ed. This year, the winner seems to be Zoom

Zoom is the web conferencing system that everyone I know across higher ed seems to really like. When talking to colleagues at other schools, they often mention that they have moved from some other platform to Zoom.

What folks seem to like about Zoom is that the application is: a) simple to use, b) has consistently high video and audio quality, and c) has a great mobile experience.

I first wrote about Zoom all the way back in 2012: Looking at For Synchronous Online Learning. So the platform has been around for a while.

The reason that I like Zoom is that, in my experience, there is a much higher probability that everything will work for everyone in a web conference. Zoom seems to do a better job of finding the webcam for video and the microphone for audio than other web conferencing platforms. The video quality is also really sharp.

According to Zoom, “over 6,900 educational institutions, including 90% of the top US universities, use Zoom for courses, research, office hours, and more.” It is hard for me to tell if Zoom is actually displacing other platforms, such as Skype or WebEx or BlueJeans or Adobe Connect or GoToMeeting or Fuze or or Collaborate. (What platforms am I missing?)

Web conferencing, and for higher education synchronous online classrooms platforms, is an incredibly crowded market. Amazon is even in this space with Amazon Chime, a service that I know next to nothing about.  

Making sense of the impact of Zoom in higher ed is difficult, as every school seems to have multiple platforms on campus. I’ve yet to see a university that has standardized on a single web conferencing / synchronous online learning platform.

Can you point us to any data on web conferencing / synchronous video utilization in higher education? Not just how many schools have the application on campus, but some measure of comparative utilization and investment?

Still, it is Zoom that seems to have the buzz.

Have you switched to Zoom?

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